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Welcome to the European Soil Portal

This European Soil Portal is an integral part of the European Soil Data Centre, which is one of the ten environmental data centres in Europe and is the focal point for soil data at European level. This European Soil Portal contributes to a thematic data infrastructure for soils in Europe. It presents data and information regarding soils at European level. It connects to activities within JRC concerning soil (JRC SOIL Action). It serves also as a vehicle to promote the activities of the European Soil Bureau Network. Spatial data collection and processing within this infrastructure is performed according to emerging ideas behind the INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) initiative.

  • Soil Datasets: The European Soil Portal contains currently many soil data, maps, information, Atlases and applications; most of the offered data are at European scale, while, when possible, links to national or global datasets are provided.
  • Soil at JRC: Soil activities within the JRC are concentrated in a specific JRC Action, called FP7 "Soil Data and Information Systems" or SOIL. Thematic Assessement Soil in the "State of Environment Report (SOER2010) is also available.
  • Documents - Publications: European Soil Bureau Research Reports, JRC Scientific and Technical Reports, Papers in Journals, Publications in Conferences, Posters and Publications in CD-ROMs, Glossary of Soil Terms.
  • Soil Projects: many past and current projects relate to the soil activities of JRC .
  • Soil Themes: covers various results for different soil themes such as Erosion, soil Organic Carbon Content, Salinisation, Landslides, Soil Compaction, Biodiversity and soil Contamination.
  • European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN): is a network of soil institutes supporting the JRC soil activities
  • International Cooperation: presents the most Important International Cooperations that Soil Action is participating (Global Soil Partnership, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative,, Sino-EU Panel on Land and Soil)
  • Events - Presentations in various events(Conferences, Workshops, Meetings, Summer Schools) which are related to the work that the Land Management Unit is doing in relation to the European Soil Bureau Network. Calendar of future events is also available.
  • Awareness Raising Our Goal as Soil Action is to Establish an action plan for the development of measures/programmes/initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of soil across European society (i.e. policy makers, general public, universities, schools, industry, etc.).
  • What's new? chronology of items added to this soil portal. Get the NEWS in XML RSS feed format and the monthly Newsletters.
  • Utilities - Various : A mailing list has been set up in order to keep interested persons up to date with the latest contents on this site. Other Tools such as the Search Engine are also available.
  • Team - Action SOIL: the people at JRC behind the soil activities.

  • Links: key pointers to soil related bodies and International Organisations

World Soil Day: 5th December

International Year of Soils 2015
(5/3/15) The FAO IYS communications toolkit provides tools and suggestions for informing and engaging the public in soil-related activities. Read through the texts provided in this section for key infomation and tips. Use the toolkit videos, photos and promotional materials to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soils..... More
Calendar 2015 - Soil functions: keeping the Earth alive
(18/2/15) While not widely appreciated by most people, soil is actually at the heart of nearly all terrestrial processes on which human and ecological well-being depends. Soil provides, regulates and supports a number of ecosystem services on which issues such as food security...... Download it
Rainfall Erosivity in Europe
(29/1/15) The purpose of this study is to assess rainfall erosivity in Europe in the form of the RUSLE R-factor, based on the best available datasets. Data have been collected from 1,541 precipitation stations in all European Union(EU) Member States and Switzerland, with temporal resolutions of 5 to 60 minutes. The R-factor values calculated from precipitation data of different temporal resolutions were normalised to R-factor values with temporal resolutions of 30 minutes using linear regression functions. Download the data: More
Soil Atlas 2015
(13/1/15) Soil Atlas 2015 is an easy-to-read, informative and well laid out publication that gives clear facts and figures on the global significance and state of land, soil and agriculture, and proposes solutions for the protection of soil resources. The Atlas is available both in English and German.
Using DNA barcodes for soil biodiversity assessment
(12/12/14) JRC scientists published a joint study on the use of metabarcoding to characterise soil biodiversity. The published paper presents the opportunities and challenges of this relatively new methodology, and proposes solutions to facilitate its common application. Metabarcoding is a molecular approach based on the assumption that Operational Taxonomic Units . .....More
New Hydraulic pedotransfer functions for Europe
(13/11/14) Point and parametric PTFs of soil hydraulic properties are provided for applications in Europe with a hierarchical input data approach, based on a systematic assessment of data available for continental soil hydrological applications. All functions are accessible both in tables and built in to the 'euptf' R package. .....More
Topsoil organic carbon (LUCAS)
(5/11/14) The map was created by applying digital soil mapping techniques to the first European harmonised geo-referenced topsoil (0–20 cm) database, which arises from the LUCAS survey. Uncertainties of the organic carbon content predictions were estimated. Three datasets are made available: Predicted topsoil organic carbon content (g C kg-1), standard error of the OC model predictions (g C kg-1) and measured OC content at the LUCAS points. Download the data
Wind Erosion modelling
(21/10/14) ESDAC makes available 2 new datasets: 1. An Index of Land Susceptibility to Wind Erosion (ILSWE) was created by combining spatiotemporal variations of the most influential wind erosion factors. 2. Wind Erodible fraction is one of the key parameters for estimating the susceptibility of soil to wind erosion. .......Download data
Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas
(20/10/14) The Joint Research Centre of European Commission and the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative are pleased to announce the writing of the first Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas. .......more info
20 peer-review publications from the SOIL group in 2013
(14/10/14) The SOIL team has published 17 peer reviewed publications during 2013 in various journals such as Global Change Biology, PLOS, Ecological Indicators, Science of Total Environment, SPRINGER, Vadose, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Landslides, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Ecological Research ...etc .....Download
Land Quality and Landscape Processes Conference
(11/9/14) Scientific assessment of land qualities, their changes and underlying landscape processes are essential to produce comprehensive evaluation of land-based ecosystem services. Only with reliable information on land quality and its possible changes can resource efficient and sustainable land management applied.
E-BOOK versions of the Soil Atlas of Africa
(8/9/14) As an alternative to the printed and pdf versions of the Soil Atlas of Africa, the JRC's Soil Resource Assessment Project (IES Land Resource Management Unit) is pleased to announce that the publication is now available in e-Book formats for both ePUB apps and Kindle devices or apps....Download
Extending Geographic and Thematic Range of SPADE/M with HYPRES Soil Profile Data
(21/8/14) The measured soil profile data of the Hydraulic Properties of European Soils (HYPRES) were evaluated for their potential use in extending the geographic coverage and thematic range of the profiles of the Soil Profile Analytical Database of Europe of measured profiles (SPADE/M) database....Download the scientific report...
Soil data of Africa
(2/7/14) The data underpinning the Soil Atlas of Africa will gradually be made available for download. In the first instance, a Shape file is available describing the dominant WRB Reference Soil Group and associated qualifiers.....Download the shape files...
Persistence in Soil Analytical Model (PERSAM) software tool
(2/7/14) The EFSA data page has been expanded with a download facility for the standalone Persistence in Soil Analytical Model (PERSAM) software tool for calculating the predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) of plant protection products (PPP) in soil. The tool assists the user in performing calculations using the analytic model.....Download the PERSAM...
Soil carbon sequestration for climate food security and ecosystem services
(2/7/14) The international conference SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION for climate, food security and ecosystem services – linking science, policy and action (SCS2013) took place in Reykjavik Iceland on 27. – 29. May 2013. The conference proceedings aim to present how the potential role of soil carbon sequestration has been discussed along different sessions (forest/ cropland/ revegetation/ desertification/ wetland/ rangeland/ verification) and from different perspectives....Download the Proccedings...

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European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)