LUCAS Soil, the largest expandable soil dataset for Europe: a review | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2018
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

Soil is a non-renewable resource that requires constant monitoring to prevent its degradation and promote its sustainable management. The ‘Land Use/Cover Area frame statistical Survey Soil’ (LUCAS Soil) is an extensive and regular topsoil survey that is carried out across the European Union to derive policy-relevant statistics on the effect of land management on soil characteristics. Approximately 45 000 soil samples have been collected from two time-periods, 2009–2012 and 2015. A new sampling series will be undertaken in 2018, with new measurements included. The organization for the 2018 sampling campaign represents an opportunity to summarize past LUCAS Soil achievements and present its future objectives. In 2009–2012 and 2015, LUCAS Soil surveys targeted physicochemical properties, including pH, organic carbon, nutrient concentrations and cation exchange capacity. Data from 2009–2012 (ca. 22 000 points) and derived output (more than 20 maps) are available freely from the European Soil Data Centre website. Analyses of samples collected during 2015 are ongoing and data will be available at the end of 2017. In the 2018 LUCAS Soil sampling campaign, additional properties, including bulk density, soil biodiversity, specific measurements for organic-rich soil and soil erosion will be measured. Here the authors present the current dataset (LUCAS Soil 2009–2012 and 2015), its potential for reuse and future development plans (LUCAS Soil 2018 and over). LUCAS Soil represents the largest harmonized open-access dataset of topsoil properties available for the European Union at the global scale. It was developed as an expandable resource, with the possibility to add new properties and sampling locations during successive sampling campaigns. Data are available to the scientific community and decision makers, thus contributing to both research and the development of the land-focused policy agenda.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Orgiazzi, A.
Ballabio, C.
Panagos, Panos
Jones, A.
Fernández-Ugalde, O.

Data provider

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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