iSOIL: An EU Project to Integrate Geophysics, Digital Soil Mapping, and Soil Science

  • U. WerbanEmail author
  • T. Behrens
  • G. Cassiani
  • P. Dietrich
Part of the Progress in Soil Science book series (PROSOIL)


The Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, prepared by the European Commission in 2006, concluded that soil degradation is a significant problem in Europe. Degradation is driven or exacerbated by human activity and has a direct impact on water and air quality, biodiversity, climate, and the quality of (human) life. High-resolution soil property maps are a major prerequisite for the specific protection of soil functions and the restoration of degraded soils, as well as for sustainable land use and water and environmental management. To generate such maps, a combination of digital soil mapping approaches and remote and proximal soil sensing techniques is most promising. However, a feasible and reliable combination of these technologies for the investigation of large areas (e.g. catchments and landscapes) and the assessment of soil degradation threats is still missing. There is insufficient dissemination – to relevant authorities as well as prospective users – of knowledge on digital soil mapping and proximal soil sensing from the scientific community. As a consequence, there is inadequate standardisation of the techniques. In this chapter we present the EU project iSOIL, which is funded within the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission. iSOIL focuses on improving and developing fast and reliable mapping of soil properties, soil functions, and soil degradation threats. This requires the improvement and integration of advanced soil sampling approaches, geophysical and spectroscopic measurement techniques, as well as pedometric and pedophysical approaches. Another important aspect of the project is the sustainable dissemination of the technologies and the concepts developed. For this purpose, guidelines for soil mapping on different scales, and using various methods for field measurements, will be written. Outcomes of the project’s measurements will be implemented in national and European soil databases. The present state of knowledge and future perspectives will be communicated to authorities, providers of technologies (e.g. small and medium enterprises), and end-users.


Geophysics Geophysical transfer functions Scorpan Data mining Sampling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Werban
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Behrens
    • 2
  • G. Cassiani
    • 3
  • P. Dietrich
    • 4
  1. 1.UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Geography, Physical GeographyTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Dipartimento di GeoscienzeUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  4. 4.UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany

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