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Soil Datasets > Data > External Soil Data > Soil Databases 1:250.000 > Italy: Carta Ecopedologica 1:250.000

The Project "Ecopedological Map of Italy" was born from the will of the Italian Ministry of Environment who wanted to insert the pedological component between the 3 environmental components of the NATURA Map. In this context the European Commission - Joint Research Centre has been in charge of the realization of the Ecopedological Map of Italy in scale 1:250.000.

The Italian Ministry of Environment has signed an agreement with the European Commission in order to develop the Ecopedological Map of Italy at a scale 1:250.000 (Carta Ecopedologica, 1:250.000).

This project has ended in 2001 and became part of the implementation of the European Soil Information System (EUSIS) as it was described in the Georeferenced Soil Database for Europe: Manual of Procedures Version 1.1. Eur 18092 EN). The Concept of the EUSIS and the National Soil Databases may be viewed in the Figure 1.

The Ecopedological Map of Italy (Carta Ecopedologica) in its final version is structured in three levels as below:
- Soil region with reference scale 1:5.000.000,
- Soil Subregion with reference scale 1:1.000.000,
- Ecopedological units with reference scale 1:250.000.

If we translate the Map into numbers then the Ecopedological Map is made up of:
- 18 Soil regions,
- 89 Soil Subregions,
- 282 Ecopedological Units
- 6538 polygon included in the Ecopedological Units
- 446 polygons of non soil (lakes, cities etc).

The Ecopedological Map of Italy has succeeded the following objectives:
- characterization of soils for hydrological and erosion risks;
- Identification of relations soils - vegetation;
- conservation aspects.

Figure 1: The Ecopedological Map of Italy in the context of the European Soil Information System
The structure of the information system developed during the project "Carta Ecopedologica 1:250.000" is shown in the Figure 2. The delineation of soil units and the characterization of landscape types are coherent with the delineation of Natura Map.

During the implementation of the Project, it has tried to implement as much as possible from the guidelines of the document "Georeferenced Soil Database for Europe: Manual of Procedures Version 1.1. Eur 18092 EN". The referred document is the result from a Working Group in the Context of the European Soil Bureau Network. During the implementation of the work, they have become necessary some adaptations of the Manual to the particular issues of the Italian territory.

The "descendent" process carries out the delineation of polygons of the Ecopedological Units for successive approximations through the parameter analysis as the climate, the parent material, the geomorfology, the soil use etc.

Soil Regions Map of Italy, Scales 1:5.000.000

The Italian Soil Regions Map in first analysis with "a descendent" approach and has been based on two main information sources:
- the Landscape Map in scale 1:250.000 of the Ministry of Environment, with an informative layer of the 15 parent associations
- the definition of climatic zones described in the document "Georeferenced Soil Database for Europe: Manual of Procedures Version 1.1. Eur 18092 EN".

The Soil SubRegions Map of Italy, Scale 1:500.000

The Soil Subregions level represents, with "the descendent" methodology application, an ulterior level of aggregation before reaching Ecopedological units.

With the current methodological approach, this level concurs to insert ulterior parameters for the delineation of the Soil Subregions. The Soil Regions were characterized by associations of material and climatic regions. Instead, in the Soil Subregions the "parent material" parameter is identified with the identification of lithological groups and appears, for the first time, the concept geomorfologic (macromorphology) tied to great landscapes.

For the definition of the lito- morphologic concepts that have guided to the delineation of the Soil Subregions, the DTM of 250m was used in combination with Landsat 5 iamges and the geolithic cartography of various scales (Geological Map 1:500.000).

The Ecopedological Map, Scale 1:250.000

The delineation of the Ecopedological Units which are part of the Ecopedological Map (Carta Ecopedologica) with the above mentioned process has involved the use of various information sources.

Figure 2: The Components of the Ecopedological Map of Italy

Available Resources

- Maps: Get the Carta Ecopedologica of Italy, Scale 1:250.000 - WRB 1998 or select one of the detailed pictures of the map

- Application - Service: One of the Services provided in the National Geographic Portal is the Ecopedologica. The Ecopedologica Application allows the user to Navigate on line in the Ecopedological Soil Map of Italy, Scale 1: 250,000.

Figure 3: Ecopedological Map of Italy (WRB 1998)


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