Soil Projects > Completed Projects > ESVA(Soil Visual Assessment)
Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) is direct evaluation of those soil properties, which are visible by naked eyes and can be evaluated directly in the field. Basically, soil properties depend on texture and soil type. VSA is based on evaluation of such soil properties and indicators, mainly morphological, physical, biological and partly chemical which are possible to be distinguished without laboratory analyses. In the following paragraphs we will try to reply yo some open quations regarding Visual Soil Assessment:
Why to use Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) ?
VSA is direct and quick method for soil properties evaluation with many possible repetitions in time and place. VSA can be used for investigation of upper horizon (mainly humus horizon) or for evaluation of whole soil profile. In case of humus horizon, the expected time of work is not longer than 20 minutes.
When to use VSA?
Proper time for VSA is when the soil has balanced moisture content. When the soil is very dry or too moist the results coming out from any soil assessment trend to be less representative (worse) as they really are. The best period for VSA use is late spring when the majority of European soils are in balanced status according to soil moisture content.
Where the VSA may be uses?
VSA is suitable either for agriculturally used or natural soils. In case of damaged soils, this tool has limited suitability. VSA can be used for several soil threats investigation, mainly soil erosion and compaction but for contaminated soil, VSA does not provide sufficient results for definition and treatment of such soil damage.
Who may use VSA?
- VSA can be used by farmers for quick check of soil suitability for cultivation or evaluation of soil status during or after certain type of cultivation and crop rotation. VSA estimates parameters connected directly with soil fertility, like texture, compaction, erosion… or parameters connected more with another soil functions, like soil structure.
- Soil scientist for description of soil profiles can use VSA.
- VSA can be used by environmentalists for some of soil threats investigation.
- VSA can be used by students dealing with soil science as tool for practical soil properties investigation.
A detailed presentation Visual Soil Assessent(VSA) made by Beata Houskova
can be downaloded: Visual
assessment of soil properties
or get the Abstract in the 18th World Congress of Soil Science. The European Soil Visual Assessment – Field Guide Poster is also available.
The guide for Soil Visual Assessment will be published in early 2007
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| European Commission - Joint
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)