Saturday, 15 July 2006

Principles, structure and suggestions for modernization of the Hungarian Soil Classification System.

Erika Micheli1, Peter Hegymegi1, Gabriella Sz. Kele2, and Zsofia Bakacsi3. (1) Szent Istvan University, Soil Science and Agrochemistry Department, Pater K. u. 1., Godollo, 2103, Hungary, (2) Plant Protection and Soil Conservation Service, Hungary, Ország út 23., Velence, 2481, Hungary, (3) Research Institute for Soil Science and Ag. Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Herman Ottó út 15., Budapest, 1022, Hungary

Most modern soil classification systems were based on soil genesis concepts and were initiated in the middle of the XIX. century and began to be used in the 1960s. With experience and expanded knowledge the emphasis shifted away from the genesis approach, to the use of soil properties as differentiating criteria.

The Hungarian soil classification system was elaborated in the 1960s, based on the genetic principles of Dokuchaev. The current Hungarian Soil Classification System has served the nation well for several decades. However in this time of change and integration with the other nations of Europe it is clear that the system needs to be modified. A national committee of soil scientists has been formed to evaluate the Hungarian system and to propose changes. The current system is very much dependent on the classifier's interpretation of the genesis of the soil. Categories of the system are based on the recognition of sets of soil forming processes, morphology, soil geographic approach and some laboratory data. Thus, there is a strong bias to classify soils according to the classifier's understanding of the geologic, climatic and biological history of a region.

New findings in science, technical development and the need for international correlation require changes in principles and structure of the Hungarian Soil Classification System. Most modern international systems such as Soil Taxonomy develop by USDA (1996), or the Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB, 1998) and national classification systems (The Russian, French, German, Chinese) follow a diagnostic approach and are based on taxonomic keys. The occurrence and sequence of diagnostic horizons, properties and materials determine the taxa of classified soil.

The poster will provide information on the principles used classifying soils in the current Hungarian system and will describe the characteristics of the eight main soil units (skeletal soils, rendzina / erubase soils, chernozems, brown forest soils, peat soils, alluvial soils, salt-affected and “hydromorphic soils”) and their subunits. General maps, pictures of soil profiles and basic laboratory data will illustrate the units. Problems with field and laboratory methodology, membership of units, equity in classifying and correlation with the World Reference Base will be discussed. The World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) is the global correlation scheme for soil classification and international communication selected by IUSS in 1998. The European Commission also selected the WRB as the correlation scheme for harmonized soil maps and databases for Europe The poster will conclude with the results of the ongoing modernization work, including suggestions for the introduction of a classification key on the highest level, new definitions and limits for units that improve recognition and separation of units and better correlation with the WRB. Three related posters will discuss details of the classification and correlation problems of Chernozem-like soils, Forest soils and “Hydromorphic” soils of Hungary.

Back to RB Developments in the World Reference Base (WRB), Soil Taxonomy (ST) and Other National Soil Classification Systems for Soil Resources - Poster
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Back to The 18th World Congress of Soil Science (July 9-15, 2006)