World Reference Base for Soil Resources

J.A. Deckers, P.M. Driessen, F.O. Nachtergaele, O.C. Spaargaren

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


In 1998, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) officially adopted the world reference base for soil resources (WRB) as the Union's system for soil correlation. The structure, concepts, and definitions of the WRB are strongly influenced by the FAO-UNESCO legend of the soil map of the world (1-2). At the time of itsinception, the WRB proposed 30 "Soil Reference Groups" accommodating more than 200 ("second level") soil units. WRB (3-5) was endorsed by the IUSS in 1998 and provides an opportunity to create and refine a common and global language for soil classification. WRB aims to serve as a framework through which ongoing soil classification throughout the world can be harmonized. The ultimate objective is to reach international agreement on the major soil groups to be recognized at a global scale as well as on the criteria and methodology to be applied for defining and separating them. Such an agreement is needed to facilitate the exchange of information and experience, to provide a common scientific language, to strengthen the applications of soil science, and to enhance the communication with other disciplines and make the major soil names into household names
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Soil Science
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherMarcel Dekker
ISBN (Print)9780824705183
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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