SOTER-based soil parameter estimates (SOTWIS) for the Indo-Gangetic Plains of India (version 1.0)

  • Niels Batjes (Creator)
  • T. Bhattacharyya (Creator)
  • C. Mandal (Creator)
  • J.A. Dijkshoorn (Creator)
  • E. Milne (Creator)
  • K.S. Gajbhiye (Creator)



This harmonized set of soil parameter estimates for the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) of India, at scale 1:1 000 000, has been derived from soil and terrain data collated in SOTER format by staff of the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS & LUP) at Nagpur, India. The data set has been prepared for use in the project on "Assessment of soil organic carbon stocks and change at ... national scale" (GEFSOC), which has IGP-India as one of its four case study areas (see

The land surface of IGP-India has been characterized using 36 unique SOTER units, corresponding with 497 polygons. The major soils of these units have been described using 36 profiles, selected by national soil experts as being representative for these units. The associated soil analytical data have been derived from soil survey reports.

Gaps in the measured soil profile data have been filled using a scheme of taxotransfer rules. Parameter estimates are presented by soil unit for fixed depth intervals of 0.2 m to 1 m depth for: organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH(H2O), CECsoil, CECclay, base saturation, effective CEC, aluminum saturation, CaCO3 content, gypsum content, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), electrical conductivity of saturated paste (ECe), bulk density, content of sand, silt and clay, content of coarse fragments, and available water capacity(-33 to-1500 kPa). These attributes have been identified as being useful for agro-ecological zoning, land evaluation, crop growth simulation, modelling of soil carbon stocks and change, and analyses of global environmental change.

The current parameter estimates should be seen as best estimates based on the current selection of soil profiles and data clustering procedure; taxotransfer rules have been flagged to provide an indication of the confidence in the derived data.

Results are presented as summary files and can be linked to the 1:1M scale SOTER map in a GIS, through the unique SOTER-unit code.

The secondary SOTER data set for IGP-India is considered appropriate for exploratory studies at regional scale (<1:1M); correlation of soil analytical data should be done more rigorously when more detailed scientific work is considered.
Date made available28 Jan 2014
Temporal coverage1 Jan 1972 - 31 Dec 1982


  • soil science

Accession numbers

  • 6eba341b-79d7-4b40-bc19-14a9066f1386

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