Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Classification of Soils: FAO

  • Ward Chesworth
  • Marta Camps Arbestain
  • Felipe Macías
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Y. Mualem
  • H. J. Morel‐Seytoux
  • William R. Horwath
  • G. Almendros
  • Ward Chesworth
  • Paul R. Grossl
  • Donald L. Sparks
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Rhodes W. Fairbridge
  • Arieh Singer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_102

The FAO soil classification system is based on the Legend for the Soil Map of the world (FAO/UNESCO, 1974).

The FAO legend was largely based on the diagnostic horizon approach developed under Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff, 1960) by the USDA during the 1950s and 1960s. Similar horizons were defined, and where definitions of the diagnostic horizons were slightly simplified, different names were used for comparable horizons such as the ferralic horizon equivalent to the oxic horizon, or the argic horizon equivalent to the argillic horizon in Soil Taxonomy. The grouping is based on measurable as well as observable soil properties.

Certain historical soil names were retained to accommodate some national sensitivities. Examples of these at the highest level were rendzinas, Solonetzes, Solonchaks, and Chernozems. Some of the names had a dubious scientific connotation (such as the podzoluvisols in which no podzolization takes place), while others were nearly identical to those developed in...

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References

  1. FAO, 1993. World Soil Resources. An explanatory note on the FAO World Soil Resources Map at 1:25.000.000 scale, 1991. Rev. 1993. World Soil Resources Reports #66. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  2. FAO, 2001. Lecture notes on the major soils of the world. In Driessen, P., Deckers, J., Nachtergaele, F., eds., World Soil Resources Reports #94, Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  3. FAO. 2006. World reference base for soil resources, 2006: a framework for international classification, correlation, and communication. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 128 pp.Google Scholar
  4. FAO/UNESCO, 1974. FAO–UNESCO Soil Map of the World. Vol. 1. Legend. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  5. FAO/UNESCO/ISRIC, 1988. FAO–UNESCO Soil Map of the World. Revised Legend. World Soil Resources Report #60, Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  6. Fitzpatrick, E.A., 1980. Soils – Their Formation, Classification and Distribution. London: Longman, 353 pp.Google Scholar
  7. ISSS/ISRIC/FAO, 1994. World Reference Base for Soil Resources. Draft. O. Spaargaren. Ed. Wageningen/Rome.Google Scholar
  8. Nachtergaele, F., 2003. The future of the FAO Legend and the FAO/UNESCO soil map of the world. In Eswaran, H., Rice, T., Ahrens, R., Stewart, B., eds., Soil Classification. Washington, DC: CRC Press, pp. 147–156.Google Scholar
  9. Soil Survey Staff, 1960. Soil classification, A comprehensive system. Seventh Approximation, SCS, USDA. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ward Chesworth
  • Marta Camps Arbestain
  • Felipe Macías
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Y. Mualem
  • H. J. Morel‐Seytoux
  • William R. Horwath
  • G. Almendros
  • Ward Chesworth
  • Paul R. Grossl
  • Donald L. Sparks
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Rhodes W. Fairbridge
  • Arieh Singer

There are no affiliations available