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See detailOur soil map as cultural heritage: what of the Belgium soil survey project should be preserved and what is being lost?
Legrain, Xavier ULg; Dondeyne, Stefaan; Deckers, Jozef et al

Poster (2012, July 06)

Between 1947 and 1991, soils of Belgium were mapped to establish a systematic inventory of the country soil resources. Field observations were done by soil auger to a standard depth of 1.25 m and at a ... [more ▼]

Between 1947 and 1991, soils of Belgium were mapped to establish a systematic inventory of the country soil resources. Field observations were done by soil auger to a standard depth of 1.25 m and at a mean density of 2 points per hectare. Cadastral plans at scale 1:5,000 where used for georeferencing field observations and for delimiting map units, subsequently generalized on the 1:10,000 topographic base map. The final map was published on sheets at scale 1:20,000 along with descriptive texts. Besides, data on about 15,000 described and analyzed soil profiles were reported in technical annexes. With the advent of computers, data on soil profiles have been transfered into relational databases and soil sheets have been digitized. Coding of the data rendered them more accessible, but inevitably implied a standardization and hence a reduction of some information. Still most of the soil surveyors have already passed away, besides their intangible expert knowledge, a wealth of information is also being lost when their field notes, unpublished reports, minutes of meetings and draft maps are being disregarded. The map legend was developed during the first decade of the survey, reflecting state of knowledge on soil formation and their relative importance for agricultural land-use in the 1950s. To guarantee that future generations will be able to appreciate the value and concepts underpinning the soil information, it is important that at least a minimum set of such historical documents would be preserved, analyzed and documented. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Belgium soil survey project: A heritage to preserve
Legrain, Xavier ULg; Dondeyne, Stefaan; Deckers, Jozef et al

Conference (2012, July 06)

Between 1947 and 1991, soils of Belgium were mapped to establish a systematic inventory of the country soil resources. Field observations were done by soil auger to a standard depth of 1.25 m and at a ... [more ▼]

Between 1947 and 1991, soils of Belgium were mapped to establish a systematic inventory of the country soil resources. Field observations were done by soil auger to a standard depth of 1.25 m and at a mean density of 2 points per hectare. Cadastral plans at scale 1:5,000 where used for georeferencing field observations and for delimiting map units, subsequently generalized on the 1:10,000 topographic base map. The final map was published on sheets at scale 1:20,000 along with descriptive texts. Besides, data on about 15,000 described and analyzed soil profiles were reported in technical annexes. With the advent of computers, data on soil profiles have been transfered into relational databases and soil sheets have been digitized. Coding of the data rendered them more accessible, but inevitably implied a standardization and hence a reduction of some information. Still most of the soil surveyors have already passed away, besides their intangible expert knowledge, a wealth of information is also being lost when their field notes, unpublished reports, minutes of meetings and draft maps are being disregarded. The map legend was developed during the first decade of the survey, reflecting state of knowledge on soil formation and their relative importance for agricultural land-use in the 1950s. To guarantee that future generations will be able to appreciate the value and concepts underpinning the soil information, it is important that at least a minimum set of such historical documents would be preserved, analyzed and documented. [less ▲]

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See detailConverting the legend of the Soil Map of Belgium into the World Reference Base for Soil Resources: Lessons from correlating national soil survey data to an international soil classification system
Bouhon, Antoine; Dondeyne, Stefaan; Legrain, Xavier ULg et al

Poster (2012, July 03)

Soils in Belgium were mapped between 1947 and 1991 and published at a 1:20000 scale. These maps are used in land consolidation projects and for assessing soils’ vulnerability to erosion and pollution ... [more ▼]

Soils in Belgium were mapped between 1947 and 1991 and published at a 1:20000 scale. These maps are used in land consolidation projects and for assessing soils’ vulnerability to erosion and pollution. Integration of land-use and environmental policies within the European Union however requires a harmonization of different national soil classification systems. With the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) as common classification system within the Union, the authorities of Flanders and Wallonia commissioned a study to elaborate a methodology for converting the Belgian soil legend into WRB. The Belgian legend is based on field properties such as texture, drainage status and profile development. The WRB classification is based on diagnostic features defined by morphological, physical and chemical properties. A key and software programme have been developed to convert the Belgian units into WRB units. However, as many Belgian units could not unequivocally be translated into WRB units, additional guidelines had to be derived based on soil survey data classified according to WRB. The data show that principles of the legend shifted over time or were interpreted differently to take regional specificities into account. To overcome resulting ambiguities it is proposed to establish a database of reference soil profiles. Whereas, overall WRB is satisfactory for classifying soils at national level, the experience also shows that some WRB concepts may benefit from revisions to facilitate its correlation with national soil survey data. [less ▲]

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See detailConverting the legend of the Soil Map of Belgium into the World Reference Base for Soil Resources: Strenght and constraints of using WRB as a map legend
Dondeyne, Stefaan; Bouhon, Antoine; Legrain, Xavier ULg et al

Conference (2012, July 03)

Within the European Union, there is a general interest to prepare joint soil maps at a 1:250000 scale in order to harmonise agricultural and environmental policies. The World Reference Base for Soil ... [more ▼]

Within the European Union, there is a general interest to prepare joint soil maps at a 1:250000 scale in order to harmonise agricultural and environmental policies. The World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) has been adopted as the common soil classification system within the EU. As soil surveys in most member states were conducted independently, the challenge is now to convert the national legends into a common WRB legend. Based on our experiences from converting the legend of the Soil Map of Belgium to WRB, we discuss the strengths and constraints of using WRB for both large scale (1:50000) and small scale (1:250000) maps. By using WRB Reference Soil Groups with one or two main qualifiers, the principal soil information of the original 1:20000 scale Soil Map of Belgium can be represented. Inevitably the conversion to WRB leads to some loss of information as details on soil texture, drainage and substratum get generalised into broader categories in WRB. This generalisation however can be neatly presented on 1:50000 scale maps. Being less complex than the original maps, these maps have the advantage to provide better insights into the regional soil geography. Moreover, as they are built on international classification concepts, the historical soil maps are made accessible to a wider audience. The conversion into WRB units also allowed for a straightforward generalisation and production of small scale maps (1:250000) which should be suitable for producing a soil map at European level. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 66 (4 ULg)