Current Affairs

India’s New Digital Soil Map

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    8th Apr, 2021


A team of scientists from IIT Kharagpur and other collaborating institutes created a digital soil map for India.

About the Digital Soil Map

  • Properties: The digital map will provide information about the properties of soil such as pH, texture, and the amount of organic carbon in the soil.
  • Information collaboration: The digital soil maps combine field and laboratory data with geographical and environmental information.
  • It also uses mathematical modeling tools to infer soil properties for a location.
  • New data generation: This map will also enable scientists to predict soil properties for those regions too for which field data is not available.
  • This can be easily updated as the new soil data becomes available.
  • Study: The map is created at a resolution of 500m.
  • Soil properties were assessed for several layers up to a depth of two meters.
  • The texture of the soil was assessed by measuring the sand and soil content.
  • The acidity of the soil by measuring the pH
  • The organic carbon content of the soil is also ascertained
  • Significance: digital soil maps have been used widely across the globe to understand
  • the nature of the soil
  • arrest its degradation
  • in making informed decisions about crop suitability

Similar initiatives

  • In Europe, LUCAS Soil (Land Use/Cover Area frame statistical Survey Soil) is a format for surveying the topsoil from approximately 45,000 locations across the European Union.
  • In the U.S. and some other countries there exists a long history of making digital soil maps.
  • World Soil Information Service (WoSIS) project at the global level has a WoSIS database that already has 199 soil profile submissions from India.