SPADE-2: The Soil Profile Analytical Database For Europe


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1. The European Soil Database – ESDB – (version 1.0) has been developed over the last two decades through the efforts of the European Soil Bureau Network.

2. The database has four main components: the 1:1,000,000 Soil Geographical Database of Europe (SGDBE v., the European Soil Profile Analytical database, SPADE-1 (v., the European Pedo-Transfer Rules database (v. 2.0), The HYPRES pedo-transfer functions (v.1.0).

3. SPADE-1 was developed to characterise each soil type or Soil Typrological Unit (STU) defined in the database, according to a range of properties that are important for agricultural and environmental interpretation and modelling.

4. However, because of the large range of data required and the limited financial resources available, it was proposed to develop the database in different stages (levels).

5. The SPADE-1 database comprises two types of data characterising soil profiles: the ‘Estimated Profile’ and the ‘Measured Profile’ data files. Only the ‘Estimated Profile’ data can be used for European level modelling purposes because the measured soil profile data are too sparse.

6. The SPADE-1 database contains 447 Estimated Profiles, the SGDBE contains 3164 STUs representing the EU-15 countries covered. In addition, of the 447 SPADE-1 Estimated Profiles, only 240 are linked to STUs (8% of the total number of STUs).

7. Furthermore, there are no profile data for 3 countries and, of the 1206 STUs with a designated dominant land use of ‘Arable’, only 78 (6%) are linked to a SPADE-1 profile. Thus it is clear that the SPADE-1 data has serious limitations for use in European level modelling

8. As a result of these limitations the European Crop Protection Association, supported by the European Soil Bureau of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, have sponsored the compilation of a second version (SPADE-2) of the profile database for use with the Soil Geographical Database of Europe.

9. The overall objective is to provide sufficient soil property data to support higher tier modelling of pesticide fate at a European level and the main aim was to expand the ‘estimated’ soil profile database to include ‘primary soil properties’ for all Soil Typological Units in the SGDBE v and for both the designated dominant and secondary land uses for all the European Union Member States (as of November 2002). Primary Soil Properties are: clay%, silt%, fine sand%, medium sand%, coarse sand%, organic carbon%, pH, bulk density.

10. Data were supplied by the designated national contacts for Belgium & Luxembourg, Denmark, England & Wales, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Scotland. Designated national contacts from other Member States either declined to supply data or could not provide the requested data within the project time-frame.

11. Data supplied by each country were based on the national data archives and, for some parameters, particularly particle-size distribution, the analytical techniques used varied slightly from country to country.

12. The raw data supplied by national data providers has thus been harmonised and validated to provide a single data file (SPADE_2.dbf) that can be easily used in conjunction with the SGDBE.

13. Harmonisation of particle-size data was carried out using a monotonic cubic spline interpolation procedure.

14. Validation analyses have been carried out to ensure that any problems related to the harmonisation procedure were identified and corrected and that the range and population distributions of all parameters were consistent with expected patterns and ranges. Unusual outliers within parameter data sets were identified and, if necessary, corrected.

15. The completed SPADE-2 database, v. 1.0 comprises two separate sets of data files: SPADE_2_raw.xls; SPADE_2.dbf.

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