3 Datasets

You are reading the work-in-progress An Open Compendium of Soil Sample and Soil Profile Datasets. This chapter is currently draft version, a peer-review publication is pending. You can find the polished first edition at https://opengeohub.github.io/SoilSamples/.

3.1 Global Datasets

3.1.1 Fine Root Ecology Database: FRED (compilation)

Description: Originally a plant root database but also contains some soil laboratory data and soil observations.

3.1.2 Global Harmonized Dataset of SOC change under perennial crops (compilation)

Description: Soil Organic Carbon data from various publications. Many missing years for PREVIOUS SOC and SOIL CHARACTERISTICS.

3.1.3 Global Soil Respiration DB (compilation)

Description: The database encompasses all published studies that report at least one of the following data measured in the field (not laboratory): annual soil respiration, mean seasonal soil respiration, a seasonal or annual partitioning of soil respiration into its source fluxes, soil respiration temperature response (Q10), or soil respiration at 10 degrees C.

3.1.4 HYDROS Soil hydraulic functions of international soils (compilation)

Description: Contains a data base of 173 soil hydrological data (raw data) from 71 sites all over the world (Asia, Africa, Australia America and Europe). The samples were mainly collected and measured as part of research projects. The soils cover a wide range of texture classes and dry bulk densities. The data base consists of water retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity data.

3.1.5 ISRIC WISE harmonized soil profile data (compilation)

Description: ISRIC-WISE database holds selected site and horizon data for 10,250 soil profiles from 149 countries. Profile data were extracted from a wide range of sources and harmonized with respect to the original (1974) and revised (1988) Legend of the FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World. Profiles have been described, sampled, and analyzed according to methods and standards in use in the originating countries. WISE was specifically developed for land-related applications at continental and global scales.

3.1.6 ISRIC World Soil Reference Collection

Description: World Soil Reference Collection comprises about 800 soil profiles from over 70 countries with detailed soil profile and environmental data.

3.1.7 Global Reforestation Opportunity Assessment (GROA) (compilation)

Description: These data were assembled by the Nature Conservancy and a team of scientists from 19 institutions to quantify carbon sequestration in naturally regenerating forests around the world.

3.1.8 Global ICRAF/ISRIC Soil Spectroscopy Library β€” (ICRAF/ISRIC)

Description: A Globally Distributed Soil Spectral Library Mid Infrared Diffuse Reflectance Spectra. MIR scans for some 785 profiles from the ISRIC World Soil Reference Collection. The samples are from 58 countries spanning Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Data available under the CC-BY 4.0 license.

3.1.9 Global database of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity measurements β€” KSat (compilation)

Description: Contains a total of 13,258 Ksat measurements from 1908 sites were assembled from the published literature.

3.1.10 Global database of soil hydraulic properties β€” GSHP (compilation)

Description: Contains a total of 15,153 soil water characteristics curve (SWCC) measurements from 2659 sites assembled from the published literature.

3.1.11 LandPKS observations

Description: Data collected by various people through the LandPKS App for mobile phones (crowdsourced). Data is of limited quality and usually no laboratory data is collected and shared.

3.1.12 Mangrove forest soil DB (compilation)

Description: Point data set used to produce a global map of mangrove forest soil carbon at 30 m spatial resolution.

3.1.13 Remnant native SOC database (compilation)

Description: Soil carbon profile data from paired land use comparisons.

3.1.14 SOils DAta Harmonization database: SoDaH (compilation)

Description: SoDaH is built on several network science efforts in the United States. It’s aim is to provide an open-access resource to facilitate and automate further harmonization and synthesis of soil carbon data.

3.1.15 Soil Health DB (compilation)

Description: A database for global soil health assessment. Only limited soil properties available.

3.1.16 Soil Water Infiltration Global database β€” SWIG (compilation)

Description: Soil textural information (clay, silt, and sand content) is available for 3842 out of 5023 infiltration measurements.

3.1.17 UNSODA Unsaturated Soil Hydraulic Database (compilation)

Description: The dataset contains measured soil water retention, hydraulic conductivity, and water diffusivity data, as well as pedological information of some 790 soil samples from around the world.

3.1.18 Worldwide organic soil carbon and nitrogen data

Description: A global point data set with organic soil carbon and nitrogen data. Poor spatial location accuracy with error often > 10 km. Bulk density for many points has been estimated not measured. Sampling year has not been but literature indicates: 1965, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984. Most of samples come from natural vegetation (undisturbed) areas.

3.2 Africa

3.2.1 Africa soil profiles database (compilation)

Description: A compilation of legacy soil profiles from hundreds of profiles. Produced for the purpose of the Africa Soil Information Services (AfSIS) project.

3.2.2 Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS1) Soil Chemistry

Description: Soil spectroscopy-based soil samples datasets. Produced by World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Quantitative Engineering Design (QED), Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services (CROPNUTS) and Rothamsted Research (RRES) for the purpose of the Africa Soil Information Services (AfSIS) project. Many more samples have been collected in the period 2010–2018.

3.3 Asia

3.3.1 Northern circumpolar permafrost soil profiles (compilation)

Description: Represents parts of Russian Federation and Canada. This data set consists of significantly higher soil organic carbon concentrations.

3.4 Australia & Oceania

3.5 Europe

3.5.1 Land Use and Coverage Area frame Survey: LUCAS soil 2009/2012

Description: Top-soil samples only (0–20 cm). In year 2012 additional samples were collected from Romania and Bulgaria.

3.5.2 Land Use and Coverage Area frame Survey: LUCAS soil 2015

Description: Top-soil samples only (0–20 cm). This is currently the largest systematic soil sample dataset for EU.

3.5.3 Land Use and Coverage Area frame Survey: LUCAS soil 2018

Description: Top-soil samples only (0–20 cm) collected in 2018. Several additional soil properties have been added.

3.5.4 GEMAS 2009

Description: Geochemical background and threshold for 53 chemical elements in European agricultural soil.

3.6 North and Central America

3.7 South America

3.7.1 Sistema de Informacion de Suelos de Latinoamerica: SISLAC (compilation)

Description: A compilation of legacy soil profiles from majority of Latin American countries.

3.7.2 CIFOR peatland points (compilation)

Description: Peatland soil measurements (points) from the literature.

  • πŸ“• Murdiyarso, D., Roman-Cuesta, R. M., Verchot, L. V., Herold, M., Gumbricht, T., Herold, N., & Martius, C. (2017). New map reveals more peat in the tropics (Vol. 189). CIFOR. https://doi.org/10.17528/cifor/006452
  • πŸ”— Project website: https://www.cifor.org/
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL:
  • πŸ“ Unique locations:
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows: 756
  • πŸ“ Import steps: chemsprops.Peatlands

3.8 National Datasets

3.8.1 Australia CSIRO National Soil Site Database (compilation)

Description: National legacy soil profile dataset. Compiled from various projects.

3.8.2 Belgium AARDEWERK-Vlaanderen-2010

Description: Legacy soil profile dataset for Flemish Region.

3.8.3 Brazil A National Soil Profile Database for Brazil (compilation)

Description: National compilation of representative soil profiles. This dataset has been used in FEBR. Data comes primarily from the Radam project (Projeto Radambrasil, 1973–1986).

  • πŸ“• Cooper, M., Mendes, L. M. S., Silva, W. L. C., & Sparovek, G. (2005). A national soil profile database for Brazil available to international scientists. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 69(3), 649-652. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2004.0140 / Benedetti, M. M., Curi, N., Sparovek, G., Carvalho Filho, A., & Silva, S. H. G. (2011). Updated Brazilian’s georeferenced soil database-an improvement for international scientific information exchanging. Embrapa, 1, 309-332.
  • πŸ”— Project website:
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL:
  • πŸ“ Unique locations: 5086
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows: 10,034
  • πŸ“ Import steps: Brazilian Soil Spectral Library β€” BSSL (compilation)

Description: Compilation of SS data from various projects. Free Brazilian Repository for Open Soil Data β€” febr (compilation)

Description: Soil legacy data from various projects in Brazil standardized and bind together. PronaSolos - 2020 (compilation)

Description: Contains various soil samples (complete profiles, partial profiles, extra samples) from the Soil Database database (BDsolos). Spatial location accuracy is variable: where possible geographic coordinates available in the Free Brazilian Repository for Open Soil Data (FEBR) were used, otherwise locations were assigned to the center of the municipality. Data set is available publicly via the PronaSolos Platform under the CC-BY-NC license. Hydrophysical database for Brazilian soils β€” HYBRAS (compilation)

Description: Contains hydrophysical data for Brazilian soils that seeks to consolidate water retention and saturated hydraulic conductivity data together with basic soil features and the methods of determination of these hydraulic properties.

3.8.4 Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada National Pedon Database

Description: Complete soil profile database. Legacy soil profiles collected in various projects. Over-represents southern parts of Canada / agricultural land. Canadian upland forest soil profile and carbon stocks database

Description: Upper and lower limits for horizons can be negative because convention in Canada is to start counting soil depth from mineral soil (hence O and similar horizons are not counted). Alberta AESA (Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture) Soil Quality Benchmark Program

Description: Established in 1998 to provide a monitoring network across Alberta for each of the 43 Ecodistricts. Only limited amount of sampling locations (42 benchmark sites) but revisited every year. It reports that only Phosphorous shows significant changes over time, while SOC, total N, pH stay relatively constant across Alberta. Soil texture samples provincial ecoforest map of Quebec, Canada

Description: Soil texture data from 29,570 mineral soil samples from 17,901 soil profiles to model and map particle size composition in ecoforest polygons of the provincial ecoforest map of Quebec, Canada.

3.8.5 Chile Chilean Soil Organic Carbon database

Description: Soil carbon samples only.

3.8.6 China (People’s Republic of China) China data set of soil properties for land surface modeling

Description: National compilation of representative soil profiles. The point data is not available publicly. SOTER soil profiles for China

Description: The Soil and Terrain database for China primary data includes also representative soil profiles.

3.8.7 Croatia Croatian Soil Pedon data

Description: National legacy soil profile dataset. Somewhat over-represents forest soils.

3.8.8 Colombia Soil texture dataset (based on SISLAC)

Description: Texture fractions harmonized at five standard depths (5, 15, 30, 60, and 100 cm) using SISLAC soil profile data for Colombia. Data set available under CC BY license.

3.8.9 Congo, Democratic Republic of Soil spectral library for central Africa (CASSL)

Description: Contains over 1,800 soil samples with total carbon and total N from ten distinct geo-climatic regions throughout the Congo Basin and wider African Great Lakes region. Points are spatially clustered around six core sampling regions.

3.8.10 Costa Rica Soil Profile DB for Costa Rica

Description: National legacy soil profile database for Costa Rica.

3.8.11 Estonia Eco-Hydrological modelling parameters dataset for Estonia (EstSoil-EH)

Description: Soil polygon map of Estonia and various derived grids. Point data (1,121 samples) is not publicly available but can be obtained by contacting the authors.

3.8.12 France

3.8.13 Germany Stocks of organic carbon in German agricultural soils (BZE_LW)

Description: For protection of data privacy, the coordinate was randomly generated within a radius of 4-km around the planned sampling point.

3.8.14 Ghana National soil profile legacy DB

Description: Described in literature but not yet imported to AfSPDB. GhanSIS (Ghana Soil Information Services)

Description: Soil samples (0-20 cm, 20-50 cm) collected within the AfSIS-II project. Coordinates of points are not available. Sample reference and soil spectral data available under CC-0 license.

3.8.15 Ireland Irish Soil Information System

Description: National legacy soil profile dataset. In 2012/2013, 246 profile pits were sampled and analysed as part of the Irish Soil Information System project to fill in gaps in the description of representative profile data for Ireland. The point data is not publicly available.

  • πŸ“• Creamer, R., & O’Sullivan, L. (Eds.). (2018). The soils of Ireland. Springer. ISBN: 9783319711898.
  • πŸ”— Project website: http://soils.teagasc.ie/
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL:
  • πŸ“ Unique locations: 246
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows:
  • πŸ“ Import steps:

3.8.16 Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran) Iran soil profile DB

Description: National legacy soil profile dataset.

  • πŸ“• Mohammad, H. B. (2000). Soil resources and use potentiality map of Iran. Soil and Water Research Institute, Teheran, Iran. / Dewan, M. L., & Famouri, J. (1964). The soils of Iran. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  • πŸ”— Project website:
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL:
  • πŸ“ Unique locations: 1373
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows: 4759
  • πŸ“ Import steps: chemsprops.IRANSPDB

3.8.17 Israel The National Soil Spectral Library of Israel

Description: Compilation of soil spectral data from various projects.

3.8.18 Nigeria Nigeria Legacy soils and National surveys (compilation)

Description: Soil profile observation compiled from Nigeria National Legacy data and IITA Project sites. Submitted by Tunrayo Alabi, CGIAR - Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI). Overlaps with the Africa Soil profiles dataset.

3.8.19 Namibia A SOTER database for Namibia: NAMSOTER

Description: Legacy soil profile dataset.

3.8.20 Scotland National Soils Inventory for Scotland

Description: Legacy dataset. The National Soil Inventory of Scotland (NSIS 1978-88) dataset was collected at sampling points arranged on a 10 km grid across the country. The data set is maintained and distributed by the James Hutton Institute under Ordnance Survey Open Data (Data).

3.8.21 Slovenia Soil profiles from the Graphical Units of Agricultural Land (GERK)

Description: Legacy dataset. The National Soil Inventory of Slovenia (agricultural land only).

3.8.22 Switzerland Swiss National Soil Spectral Model Library

Description: National SS library. NABODAT

Description: Swiss National soil information system (NABODAT). Proprietary data but can be requested for research purposes. Includes also the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network (NABO).

  • πŸ“• Rehbein, K., van der Meer, M., Grob, U., Wegmann, F. and Keller, A. 2011. β€œDas Nationale Bodeninformationssystem NABODAT in der Schweiz”. In Berichte der DBG β€œBΓΆden verstehen – BΓΆden nutzen –BΓΆden fit machen”, 3–9 September 2011, Berlin http://eprints.dbges.de / Keller, A. (2013). National soil information systems to support spatial planning procedures. disP-The Planning Review, 49(1), 68-71. https://doi.org/10.1080/02513625.2013.799872
  • πŸ”— Project website: https://www.nabodat.ch/
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL:
  • πŸ“ Unique locations:
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows:
  • πŸ“ Import steps: Swiss Biodiversity Monitoring (BDM)

Description: Swiss Biodiversity Monitoring (BDM) soil samples. Focused on monitoring soil bacterial communities.

  • πŸ“• Mayerhofer, J., WΓ€chter, D., Calanca, P., Kohli, L., Roth, T., Meuli, R. G., & Widmer, F. (2021). Environmental and anthropogenic factors shape major bacterial community types across the complex mountain landscape of switzerland. Frontiers in microbiology, 12, 581430. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.581430
  • πŸ”— Project website: https://www.biodiversitymonitoring.ch/index.php/en/home-footer
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL:
  • πŸ“ Unique locations: 255
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows:
  • πŸ“ Import steps:

3.8.23 Tanzania TanSIS (AfSIS-II)

Description: Tanzanian Soil Information Service. Coordinates of points are available from https://registry.opendata.aws/afsis/. Sample data available under CC-0 license.

3.8.24 Russian Federation The Unified State Register of Soil Resources: EGRPR

Description: All documentation in Russian only.

3.8.25 UK LandIS / National Soils Inventory (NSI)

Description: National soil and land use database. Proprietary dataset maintained by Cranfield University. LandIS is a Registered Trademark.

3.8.26 USA National Cooperative Soil Survey Characterization Database

Description: National Cooperative Soil Survey Characterization Database is probably the most comprehensive and most detailed soil profile dataset in the World. It is continuously maintained by the USDA National Cooperative Soil Survey. Data is available under the CC-0 license. USDA National Soil Survey Center’s Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory β€” (NSSC KSSL)

Description: MIR spectral library and associated soil characterization database, which now includes >50,000 MIR spectra collected on soils primarily from the United States. Currently not available publicly for use. Rapid Carbon Assessment: RaCA

Description: Locations of each site have been degraded due to confidentiality and only reflect the general position of each site. USGS Geochemical and mineralogical data for soils

Description: Systematic geochemical and mineralogical survey of soil horizons analyzed using a consistent set of methods, sample spacing 1 per 1,600 sq km. Data is available under the CC-0 license. The Forest Inventory and Analysis Database (FIADB)

Description: Systematic inventory of forest plots.

3.9 Other datasets Permafrost in subarctic Canada

Description: This dataset consists of measurements of bulk density, carbon and nitrogen content in soil profiles from permafrost in subarctic Canada. Soil cores were sampled during early summer in 2013 and 2014. Data publicly available under the Open Government Licence.

3.9.1 Soil-hydraulic dataset for Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Description: Contains soil profile data at depths of 5 cm and 25 cm from 238 sampling sites for a high and cold mountainous area, Northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Includes the soil hydraulic properties include clay, silt, sand, soil organic carbon, soil saturated hydraulic conductivity. Data available under CC-BY license.

  • πŸ“• Tian, J., Zhang, B., Wang, X., & He, C. (2022). An in situ observation dataset of soil hydraulic properties and soil moisture in a high and cold mountainous area on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Earth System Science Data Discussions, 1-29. https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-21
  • πŸ”— Project website: https://data.tpdc.ac.cn/
  • πŸ“‚ Data download URL: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5830583
  • πŸ“ Unique locations: 238
  • πŸ“‹ Unique complete rows:
  • πŸ“ Import steps: