New developments in soil classification: World Reference Base for Soil Resources

TitleNew developments in soil classification: World Reference Base for Soil Resources
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsNachtergaele, FO, Spaargaren OC, Deckers JA, and Ahrens R
Pagination345 - 357
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsclassification, natural resources, soil group, Vertisols
AbstractIt has been a matter of great concern that after hundred years of modern soil science a generally accepted system of soil classification has not yet been universally adopted [Dudal, R., 1990. Progress in IRB preparation. In: Rozanov, B.G. (Ed.), Soil Classification. Reports of the International Conference on Soil Classification, 12–16 September 1988, Alma-Ata, USSR. Centre for International Projects, USSR State Committee for Environmental Protection, Moscow. pp. 69–70]. This situation arises partly from the fact that soils constitute a continuum, which unlike easily identifiable plants and animals, needs to be placed into classes by convention. In order to remedy this the International Union of Soil Science has been working for the last 20 years with a working group RB, to develop a common language for naming the soils of the world: the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), which was endorsed by the IUSS World Congress at Montpellier in 1998. This paper reflects on the WRB, its objectives, its principles, goals as well as its implementation. Last but not least, projections are made on implications of WRB for soil inventories and small-scale land surveys