Soil Geography and Development of the Third Edition National Soil Map

Lilian O’Sullivan, Reamonn Fealy, Iolanda Simo, Rachel Creamer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The geography of the soils of Ireland in relation to the distribution of Great Soil Groups, the distinct Soil Subgroups that occur within each Great Soil Group and a reference profile description at series level from the online SIS database are presented in this chapter. This follows with a description of the development of the 3rd Edition National Soil Map of Ireland. Prior to the Irish Soil Information Systems (SIS) project, systematic pedology in Ireland had largely been related to mapping exercises, such as the previous National Soil Survey (NSS) conducted by An Foras Talúntais (AFT) who mapped 44% of the country at a scale of 1:126,720; developed a General Soil Map of Ireland and a National Peatland map, both at 1:575,000 scale. In 2009 the Irish SIS project was established to bring together all existing pedological data and map the remaining land area. A scale of 1:250,000 was determined as appropriate for the development of the 3rd Edition National Soil Map of Ireland based on recommendations of the European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN) Technical Working Group responsible for soil monitoring and harmonisation. The 1:250,000 national soil map of Ireland is a soil map composed of soil associations of the 213 soil series, and altogether a total of 58 soil associations, excluding peat, alluvium, urban, rock and marsh, are defined. A harmonisation of legacy data (Terra Cognita) was completed and served as the basis for the generation of soil-landscape models which were then used to model areas where detailed soil surveys had not previously been carried out. Validation of this methodology was carried out over a 2.5-year field survey, in which 11,000 locations were assessed for soil type using an auger survey approach. Where previously unidentified combinations of soilscape units were found, soil profile pits were excavated, sampled and described at representative locations across the country to define this new soil information. These 225 pits were described and sampled in detail and were used to support the development of a new soil classification (described in Chap. 3).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication The Soils of Ireland
EditorsR. Creamer, L. O'Sullivan
ISBN (Electronic)9783319711898
ISBN (Print)9783319711881, 9783030100247
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2018

Publication series

NameThe Soils of Ireland
ISSN (Print)2211-1255
ISSN (Electronic)2211-1263


Dive into the research topics of 'Soil Geography and Development of the Third Edition National Soil Map'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this