Knowledge for Development

SoilGrids1km – Global soil information based on automated mapping


Date: 27/11/2014


SoilGrids1km is a global 3D soil information system at 1 km resolution containing spatial predictions for a selection of soil properties (at six standard depths): soil organic carbon, soil pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, coarse fragments, soil organic carbon stock, depth to bedrock, World Reference Base soil groups, and USDA Soil Taxonomy suborders. These predictions elaborated by Tomislsv Hengl and colleagues of ISRIC - World Soil Information, Wageningen, The Netherlands, are based on global spatial prediction models which were fitted, per soil variable, using a compilation of major international soil profile databases, and a selection of 75 global environmental covariates representing soil forming factors. The current version of SoilGrids1km still has some limitations such as; (i) a weak relationship between soil properties and explanatory variables due to scale mismatches, (ii) a difficulty to obtain covariates that capture soil forming factors, (iii) a low sampling density and spatial clustering of soil profile locations. However, as the SoilGrids system is highly automated and flexible, increasingly accurate predictions can be generated as new input data become available.   

(PLOS ONE, 29/08/2014)

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