Soil Erodibility (K- Factor) High Resolution dataset for Europe

This map provides a complete picture of the soil erodibility in the European Union member states. It is derived from the LUCAS 2009 point survey (20,000 SOIL SAMPLES) and the European Soil Database. The K-factor, which expresses the susceptibility of a soil to erode, is related to soil properties such as organic matter content, soil texture, soil structure and permeability. With the Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey (LUCAS) soil survey in 2009 a pan-European soil dataset is available for the first time, consisting of around 20,000 points across 25 Member States of the European Union. The aim of this study is the generation of a harmonised high-resolution soil erodibility map (with a grid cell size of 500 m) for the 25 EU Member States. Soil erodibility was calculated for the LUCAS survey points using the nomograph of Wischmeier and Smith (1978). A Cubist regression model was applied to correlate spatial data such as latitude, longitude, remotely sensed and terrain features in order to develop a high-resolution soil erodibility map. The mean K-factor for Europe was estimated at 0.032 t ha h ha−1 MJ−1 mm−1 with a standard deviation of 0.009 t ha h ha−1 MJ−1 mm−1. The yielded soil erodibility dataset compared well with the published local and regional soil erodibility data. However, the incorporation
of the protective effect of surface stone cover, which is usually not considered for the soil erodibility calculations, resulted in an average 15% decrease of the K-factor. The exclusion of this effect in K-factor calculations is likely to result in an overestimation of soil erosion, particularly for the Mediterranean countries, where highest percentages of surface stone cover were observed. More information about the Methodology and the results an be found in : Panagos P., Meusburger K., Ballabio C., Borrelli P., Alewell C. (2014). Soil erodibility in Europe: A high-resolution dataset based on LUCAS . Science of the Total Environment, 479-480 (1) , pp. 189-200.

Panagos, P., Meusburger, K., Ballabio, C., Borrelli, P., Alewell, C. Soil erodibility in Europe: A high-resolution dataset based on LUCAS, Science of Total Environment, 479-480 (2014) pp. 189-200
Data ownership
European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
Publication Date
Raster Data
coarse fragments , KFactor , LUCAS , stone cove , Erosion Modelling , Stoniness , soil erodibility , USLE
environmental resources, protection and conservation. Examples: environmental pollution, waste storage and treatment, environmental impact assessment, monitoring environmental risk, nature reserves, landscape

Maintenance Frequency
5-10 Years, Data Is Updated In Intervals That Are Uneven In Duration

The soil erodibility is used as input parameter in soil erosion modelling


Spatial Representation Type
grid data is used to represent geographic data
Attribute Name Label Description

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  • Legend

    Soil Erodibility, K - Factor (t ha h)/(ha MJ mm)

  • Note: Displayed data might have been re-sampled; please visit esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu or the direct link here below to download source data.
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