iSOIL - Interactions between soil related sciences -
Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping


Soil threats

Serious threats to soil are soil erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinization, floods and landslides. Soil degradation is accelerating, with negative effects on human health, natural ecosystems and climate, as well as on the economy. Therefore soil functions, e.g. matter transformation including storing and filtering, must be protected for humanity and the environment, as suggested by the European “Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection” to prevent further soil degradation, preserve soil functions and restore degraded soils.

High-resolution soil property maps are one major prerequisite for the specific protection of soil functions ... and restoration of degraded soils, as well as sustainable land use, water and environmental management. However, currently available techniques for (digital) soil mapping still have deficiencies in terms of reliability and precision, the feasibility of investigation of large areas (e.g.catchments and landscapes) and the assessment of soil degradation threats at this scale. Therefore a significant demand exists to develop new strategies and innovative methods for generating high-resolution and accurate soil property maps and to simultaneously reduce costs, compared to traditional soil mapping.

Progress is required and can be made in the following four areas: measuring techniques, pedophysics, pedometrics and dissemination.

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Important Information

Project ended in November 2011

CWA 16373 "Best Practice Approach for electromagnetic induction measurements of the near surface" is published and available at CEN or DIN Berlin

iSOIL data are available at

iSOIL is a member of the SOIL TECHNOLOGY CLUSTER of Research Projects funded by the EC

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