IPCC default soil classes derived from the Harmonized World Soil Data Base, version 1.1



This global data set shows the spatial distribution of generalized soil classes as defined for IPCC Tier-I level national greenhouse gas inventory assessments.

The database was derived from the Harmonized World Soil Data Base (HWSD ver. 1.1) and a series of taxotransfer procedures to convert FAO soil classifications (1974, 1985 and 1990 Legend) to the seven default IPCC soil classes: High activity clay (HAC), Low activity clay (LAC), Sandy (SAN), Spodic (POD), Volcanic (VOL), wetlands (WET) and Organic (ORG).

The resulting database, linked to GIS, may be used for exploratory assessments at national and broader scale (1:1-1:5 M), for regions that lack more detailed soil information; inherent limitations of the data are discussed in the documentation.

The dataset has been compiled in the framework of the GEF co-funded 'Carbon Benefits Project: Measuring, modelling and monitoring'
Date made available7 Jan 2014
Temporal coverage1 Jan 1950 - 15 Oct 2009


  • soil science

Accession numbers

  • 41cb0ae9-1604-4807-96e6-0dc8c94c5d22

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