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Directory of Soil Morphology, Classification and Survey Resources

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# What are Soil Morphology, Classification and Survey? Soil Morphology, Classification and Survey are three intimately related sub-disciplines of soil science. They are used one after the other: 1. DESCRIBING and MEASURING soil properties in one or several places (for instance its physical, chemical and biological characteristics, or its internal organisation). Although each example is related to another "Soils" sub-discipline, the overall process is often related as "SOIL MORPHOLOGY" 2. Once soil properties have been measured, it is possible to try to interpret them: What are the main traits of the soil morphology? How does behaves this soil (water flow, etc.)? How the soil has been formed (that is its "pedogenesis") and on which parental materials? As there are infinite variations in soil properties, soil scientist often CLASSIFY soils in CATEGORIES/CLASSES. They have built CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS that operates at various scales: international, national or regional. 3. What often interest farmers, agronomists or soil scientists is usually not a "local" description, but a more "global" view of soil (at the plot or the region scale): It is the soil MAPPING/SURVEY process. Not only soil mapping does rely on soil classification to present the survey results in a readable way, but it also involves a complex "interpolation" methods, aiming at predicting how is the soil in unsampled location. # Dmoz users will find here resources on each of the above mentioned topic: - Guidelines for soil description (see Soils sub-categories for more specific soil properties); - Reference guides for soil classification; - Reference guides for soil mapping; - Soil survey information: Soil and soil properties maps and databases; - etc. etc. These reference are often available for various countries (and international institutions). # It is good to keep in mind that soil survey/maps often serves as basis for DERIVED MAPS of specific soil properties, for various purposes: Soil aptitude to cultivation, waste amendment; Soil susceptibility to water logging or erosion; Aptitude of the soil to degrade mobile pollutants (or its contrary, risks of pollutant leaching); etc. etc. Such topic will only be placed in this category if they are not presented in other Dmoz categories. # Finally, it worth citing a few synonyms or related topics for "Soil Morphology, Classification or Survey" - Digital Soil Mapping (this term embraces all the new computer-based quantitative techniques being developed for mapping soils); - Soil geography; - Land resources (Soils are only one of these resources); - Pedology (closely, but not exclusively related to soil morphology, classification and survey); - Pedogenesis (idem) [please e-mail the category editor for any suggestion about this Description]

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