Saturday, 15 July 2006

Soil Information for Germany: The 2006 Position.

Wolf Eckelmann, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Stilleweg 2, Hannover, 30655, Germany

Since the beginning of the nineties, BGR has started to establish the soil information system of Germany, called “FISBo BGR”. Since then, the system has been continuously developed, especially in methods, thematic application and the use of modern web map server techniques. The method development has been greatly influenced by the German Soil Protection Act and the ongoing activities to launch a soil protection directive in Europe, which has been started in 2002. These political frame conditions have abruptly increased the demand for improved pedological information, such as representative soil mapping data at higher resolution, and increasing quantitatively defined soil properties. Similar to the federal nature of the EU, German national soil information is also confronted with a diversity of different mapping approaches taken by the federal lands. In order to harmonize diverse data sources in common overview scales, BGR has developed its soil information system in close co-operation with the individual state geological surveys as well as with the EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU Network and its secretariat at the EU Joint Research Centre at Ispra, Italy. The soil information system using a spatial data base, closely connected with a soil profile and laboratory data base turned out to be effective and sensible to handle all data as well as answering most of the questions coming from a wide range of users. The spatial data base consists of two main pillars: the finalized 1:1,000,000 (BÜK1000) and the ongoing 1:200,000 mapping (BÜK200). The 1:1,000,000 is top-down derived from two basic systems, a western and an eastern German soil typology, harmonized based on the current version of the national soil mapping guide (AG Boden 1994). It also contains FAO 1988. Recently, the BÜK1000 has been improved based on an extended land use-specific soil profile data base (forest, grassland and cropland). The ongoing BÜK200 is based on a specific mapping guideline for bottom-up soil unit aggregation and delineation, which guarantees complete harmonization among the federal lands excluding border effects. BGR has also developed a Geomorphiographic Map in 250 m resolution which serves as the basic mapping platform. The BÜK 200 soil associations have been supplemented by the new substrate type classification, which closely connects the data base to parent material, thus includes Quarternary pedogenesis. While the BÜK1000 has been incorporated into the European Spatial Soil Database 1:1,000,000, BGR has also produced the European 1:5,000,000 soil regions map (together with the European Soil Bureau Network). Supplementing the spatial data, an independent soil profile and laboratory data base now has available more than 50,000 analysed soil profiles which are used on various thematic applications, for example to derive heavy metal background values as a basis for soil protection legislation, or to define pedo-regional representative soil profiles for more accurate spatial soil information, as described above. To improve the FISBo BGR method base, algorithms for pedo-transfer functions for estimating soil hydraulic properties have been optimised and tables for estimating field capacity, available water capacity, and air capacity have been improved using enlarged data sets. The spatial data including the refined soil profile information were just recently connected with the method data base in a web-based information system, a Web Soil Service. The web mapping service is utilized and supplemented by XML data import routines and programmed methods which together as a standardized digital framework allow maximum transparency and reproducibility of method application. The first methods have been successfully tested for both maps, the land-use stratified BÜK1000 and for the BÜK200.

Back to 1.0PA Multiscale Mapping of Soil Properties for Environmental Studies, Agriculture, and Decision-Making - Poster
Back to WCSS

Back to The 18th World Congress of Soil Science (July 9-15, 2006)