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Measuring Soil Carbon (1.9 MB)
Requirements for monitoring soil carbon are identified and existing methods that can address the requirements are outlined.

Storage of Indensed Water in Soils (640 KB)
Physical controls on the storage and movement of water in soils are examined to identify the constraints to plants using soils to store indensed water.


The Soil Heat of Hydration Measurement (221 KB)
A new soil physical property is identified, the Soil Heat of Hydration (Soil HoH), and a method for its measurement is described and evaluated. The method represents a calorimetric measurement of the energy released on the addition of water to dry soil. Measurement of the incremental change in Soil HoH with incremental drying of soil is used to estimate the amount of bound water in soil and the level of energy release from water associated with this binding.

Application of Soil HoH (163 KB)
Results are presented to demonstrate the application of the Soil Heat of Hydration (Soil HoH) measurement in addressing land use and management. The results demonstrate the differences between soils and the effects of soil salinity. Changes in Soil HoH associated with land use impacts are given.


Calculating the Effect of Organic Matter on Soil, Water, Nutrient and Carbon Storage (245 KB)
The benefits of increasing soil organic matter include carbon sequestration and an increase in the capacity of the soil to store water and nutrients. However, estimates of the level of potential benefits differ considerably. The calculations are straight forward for carbon but for water storage there can be no definitive answer. The calculations are examined and the general levels of benefits identified for different soils.


Effects of Native Plant Species & Soil Type on Soil Nitrogen Mineralisation (320 KB)
Field nitrogen mineralisation in brigalow and poplar box communities was investigated in the field and with disturbed soils. Rates were also determined in relation to different native plant species. The results are discussed in relation to natural patterns of dark soils occurring alongside light coloured and the impacts of agriculture on soil carbon.

The Natural Development of Nutrients in Soils (216 KB)
Nutrient recycling within natural vegetation inevitably involves losses and such losses are compounded by harvesting in agriculture. The sustainability of vegetative systems therefore depends on obtaining new replacement nutrients. Mineral fertilisers are usually applied in agriculture but in natural systems the replacement nutrients arise through micro-organisms extracting nutrients from the atmosphere and the mineral component of soils. The paper addresses the interaction between micro-organisms and plants in the provision of new nutrients from soil minerals, and the sustainability of agricultural systems that attempt to directly replace lost nutrients rather than develop the biological health of soils.

Soil Factors Affecting the Competition between Trees and Grasses (120 KB)
In this paper soil factors affecting the competition between trees and grasses are examined.

Interrelationships Between Salt Content, Water Content and Water Potential in an Expansive Clay Soil (356 KB)
This paper addresses the relationships between water content and water potential of clay soil samples with different salt contents.

Possibilities for Increasing and Measuring Soil Carbon (80 KB)
Environmental and management factors affecting the accumulation of soil organic matter are summarised and used to identify conditions best suited to increasing sequestration of carbon in soils. Several management systems that increase soil organic matter are listed. A new initiative designed to aid the implementation of these approaches to management is identified.


Use of Radiometrics in Soil Survey (92 KB)
The objectives and requirements with soil mapping are summarised. The capacities of different methods to address these objectives are compared. Basic requirements when analysing radiometric data for soil mapping are given.


Origin of the Coonawarra Ridge (213 KB)
Examines the origin of the Coonawarra ridge using soil mapping derived from airborne gamma radiation data and field survey. The Coonawarra Ridge is identified as a remnant lunette formed on the eastern edge of an ephemeral lake.


SoilSelect: Summary of method (236 KB)
This paper outlines the SoilSelect methodology which was developed to provide soils information to address land use and management. SoilSelect is generally implemented using airborne gamma radiation data (radiometrics) to map soil patterns (ie. homogenises patterns of soil property variations).

FAQ: Soil Property Maps from Radiometrics (132 KB)
This paper addresses the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that have arisen with the SoilSelect methodology.

FAQ: Difference between soil property maps & the radiometric salinity class (124 KB)
This paper addresses the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) the highlight the difference between the radiometric soil map and the radiometric salinity map.

Soil description and mapping for land use & management. (176 KB)
This paper outlines the concepts behind the soil mapping methods using analogies between the classification of soils, species and plant communities.


Soil surveys conducted for defence on the singleton training area (128 KB)
The papers presented in this series relate to research conducted by the CSIRO Division of Water Resources in collaboration with Environmental Research and Information Consortium Pty Ltd (ERIC) on the Singleton Training Area (STA). Soil and vegetation surveys were undertaken to provide baseline information to support land use and management, and the production of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The papers here address soil surveys that were conducted in three phases to develop the level of map detail and reliability considered necessary for management.

Paper 1: Mapping soils by reference to geology and catenary position (516 KB)
This paper describes soil properties as defined for the Northcote (1979) classification system but the texture descriptions and catenary positions were converted to pseudo continuous variables for analysis using generalised linear modelling, and catenary position was analysed as a factor and a variable.

Paper 2: Determining soils not identified by geology and catenary position (120 KB)
The paper addresses the interpretation of relationships between of patterns of soils and vegetation, the value of colour in analysing patterns in soils for environmental management, as well as the adequacy of mapping soils by reference to geological formations.

Paper 3: Mapping soils by reference to airborne measures of gamma-radiation (188 KB)
This paper addresses the mapping of soil categories relevant to management independently of other information used in landscape analysis, such as geology and vegetation. Airborne radiometric data were examined as an alternate to geological formations in stratifying the landscape to map soils.