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Properties Sub-Team

Continuous soil property raster stack; six depth layers predicted for each of 12 key soil properties.

Soil and Plant Science Division has launched Soils2026, an ambitious initiative to provide a new inventory of soils and provisional ecological sites for all areas of the U.S. by 2026. Soils2026 aims to provide basic soil and ecological site information that will be useful to land managers, ecologists, modelers, conservationists, and other natural resource professionals. This effort will rely heavily on digital soil mapping to produce the next generation of soil information products that will provide a flexible raster-based product for interpretation of soil physical, chemical, and biological properties across the U.S.

The properties sub-team was initiated to focus on the development of a complete, consistent, correct, comprehensive, and current inventory of the soil resources of the U.S. in the form of nationwide gridded continuous soil property products not only to support the Soils2026 effort, but to lay the groundwork for the future direction of soil survey and soil information products for the U.S. These continuous soil property products, Soil Properties of the USA (SOLUS), are meant to be flexible and relevant to meet a variety of expanding user needs.

The objective of the sub-team is to produce this next generation SOLUS product with full National Cooperative Soil Survey and Soil and Plant Science Division involvement and support. The sub-team will be applying the latest digital soil mapping methods combined with collective pedologic knowledge to produce continuous soil properties predictions and estimates of uncertainty for all areas of the U.S. Initially, the 30-m resolution products will include predictions for 12 key soil properties at six depth intervals, conforming to GlobalSoilMap specifications, with the option to expand properties or add class predictions as user needs demonstrate. Interpretations for use and management will be derived from the continuous properties products and provided to users.

Fundamental pedology and communication of soil knowledge will be the primary focus of this effort, yielding a framework for delivery of seamless raster-based soils data for all areas of the U.S. on yearly cycles. This framework will foster an environment of continuous improvement and support a complete, consistent, correct, comprehensive, and current inventory of the soil resources of the U.S. The aim is to provide the SOLUS product to the user community via download and as a web service, with accompanying interpretations for management and use.

This effort is being supported by the Soils2026 Property Maps Initiative with collaboration between NRCS-SPSD, West Virginia University, and New Mexico State University.

List of Deliverables including continuous raster soil properties, key soil property layers at depth intervals, and prediction uncertainty.List of target soil properties including total profile depth; plant-exploitable soil depth; organic carbon; pH; sand, silt, clay; rock fragments; ECEC; bulk density of fine earth fraction and whole soil; and available water holding capacity.Recent Work

Sub-Team Lead

Sub-Team Members

  • Dylan Beaudette, NRCS
  • Colby Brungard, New Mexico State University
  • Chad Ferguson, NRCS
  • Zamir Libohova, NRCS
  • Travis Nauman, USGS
  • Jessica Philippe, NRCS
  • Stephen Roecker, NRCS
  • Claire Simpson, USFS
  • Alex Stum, NRCS
  • Charlotte Tierney, USGS
  • Jim Thompson, West Virginia University
  • Rob Vaughan, USFS
  • Dave White, NRCS