Publications

WoSIS snapshot - September 2019

Batjes, Niels; Carvalho Ribeiro, Eloi; Oostrum, Ad van

Summary

The World Soil Information Service (WoSIS) provides quality-assessed and standardised soil profile data to support digital soil mapping and environmental applications at broad scale levels. Since the release of the first ‘WoSIS snapshot’, in July 2016, many new soil data were shared with us, registered in the ISRIC data repository, and subsequently standardised in accordance with the licences specified by the data providers. Soil profile data managed in WoSIS were contributed by a wide range of data providers, therefore special attention was paid to measures for soil data quality and the standardisation of soil property definitions, soil property values (and units of measurement), and soil analytical method descriptions. We presently consider the following soil chemical properties (organic carbon, total carbon, total carbonate equivalent, total Nitrogen, Phosphorus (extractable-P, total-P, and P-retention), soil pH, cation exchange capacity, and electrical conductivity) and physical properties (soil texture (sand, silt, and clay), bulk density, coarse fragments, and water retention), grouped according to analytical procedures (aggregates) that are operationally comparable. Further, for each profile, we provide the original soil classification (FAO, WRB, USDA, and version) and horizon designations insofar as these have been specified in the source databases. Measures for geographical accuracy (i.e. location) of the point data as well as a first approximation for the uncertainty associated with the operationally defined analytical methods are presented, for possible consideration in digital soil mapping and subsequent earth system modelling. The present snapshot, referred to as ‘WoSIS snapshot - September 2019’, comprises 196,498 geo-referenced profiles originating from 173 countries. They represent over 832 thousand soil layers (or horizons), and over 6 million records. The actual number of observations for each property varies (greatly) between profiles and with depth, this generally depending on the objectives of the initial soil sampling programmes.