The LUCAS topsoil database and derived information on the regional variability of cropland topsoil properties in the European Union
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- Tóth, G., Jones, A. & Montanarella, L. Environ Monit Assess (2013) 185: 7409. doi:10.1007/s10661-013-3109-3
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Approximately 20,000 topsoil samples were collected in 25 European Union (EU) Member States (EU-27 except Bulgaria and Romania) with the aim to produce the first coherent pan-European physical and chemical topsoil database, which can serve as baseline information for an EU wide harmonized soil monitoring. The soil sampling was undertaken within the frame of the Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS), a project to monitor changes in the management and character of the land surface of the EU. Soil samples have been analysed for basic soil properties, including particle size distribution, pH, organic carbon, carbonates, NPK, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and multispectral signatures. Preliminary studies show the outstanding potential of the dataset for enhancing the knowledge base on soils in the EU. The current paper provides an introduction to the LUCAS Topsoil 2009 project and provides an example of data applicability for cropland assessment by highlighting initial results for regional and national comparisons.