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Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping

Activity Code: ENV.2007.
Coordinator: Dr Ulrike Werban, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ


As formulated in the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection prepared by the European Commission soil degradation is a serious problem in Europe. The degradation is driven or exacerbated by human activity and has a direct impact on water and air quality, biodiversity, climate and human life-quality. High-resolution soil property maps are one major prerequisite for the specific protection of soil functions and restoration of degraded soils as well as sustainable land use, water and environmental management. However, the currently available techniques for (digital) soil mapping still have deficiencies in terms of reliability and precision, the feasibility of investigation of large areas (e.g. catchments and landscapes) and the assessment of soil degradation threats at this scale.

A further quandary is the insufficient degree of dissemination of knowledge between the scientific community, relevant authorities and prospective users and deficiencies in standardisation. The focus of the iSOIL project is on improving fast and reliable mapping of soil properties, soil functions and soil degradation threats. This requires the improvement as well as integration of geophysical and spectroscopic measurement techniques in combination with advanced soil sampling approaches, pedometrical and pedophysical approaches. An important aspect of the project is the sustainable dissemination of the technologies and concepts developed. For this purpose guidelines will be written and published. Furthermore, the results will be implemented in national and European soil databases. The present state of technologies and future perspectives will also be transferred to authorities, providers of technologies (SMEs), and end users through workshops at regional level, international conferences and publications throughout the duration of the project.

Project Details:

Start Date: 01.06.2008
End Date: 30.11.2011
EU Contribution: 3.42 Mio. Euro
Total Costs: 4.55 Mio. Euro
Funding Scheme: Small or medium-scale focused research project
Administrative Contact Person:
Annette Schmidt, annette.schmidt@ufz.de
Scientific Coordinator:
Dr Ulrike Werban, ulrike.werban@ufz.de
Project Website:http://www.isoil.ufz.de/


  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany
  • Comite Europeen de Normalisation, Belgium
  • Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany
  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
  • Universita degli Studi di Padova, Italy
  • Universität Bern, Switzerland
  • Geophysical Institute - Bulgarian Acasdemy of Sciences, Bulgaria
  • Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Austria
  • Alterra B.V., Netherlands
  • The Soil Company BV, Netherlands
  • Allied Associates (Geophysical) Limited, United Kingdom
  • Geo-Infometric van Straaten und Teilhaber Wissenschaften Ingenieure und Berater GmbH, Germany
  • Allsat GmbH Network + Services, Germany
  • Výzkumný ústav rostlinné výroby, Czech Republic
  • Cranfield University, United Kingdom
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany
  • Commission of the European Communities - Directorate General Joint Research Centre - JRC, Belgium
  • ?eská zem?d?lská univerzita v Praze, Czech Republic