Holy Tree on QuShui, Tibet - Photo by Yongjiu Dai

The Soil Database of China for Land Surface Modeling

Introduction | Data citation | Data download


This soil characteristics database was developed for use in the land surface modeling.

The dataset includes soil physical and chemical attributes: pH value, organic matter fraction, cation exchange capacity, root abundance, total nitrogen (N), total phosphorus (P), total potassium (K), alkali-hydrolysable N, available P, available K, exchangeable H+, Al3+, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ , Na+, horizon thickness, soil profile depth, sand, silt and clay fractions, rock fragment, bulk density, porosity, structure, consistency and soil color. Quality control information (QC) was provided.

The resolution is 30 arc-seconds (about 1 km at the equator). The vertical variation of soil property was captured by eight layers to the depth of 2.3 m (i.e. 0- 0.045, 0.045- 0.091, 0.091- 0.166, 0.166- 0.289, 0.289- 0.493, 0.493- 0.829, 0.829- 1.383 and 1.383- 2.296 m) for convenience of use in the Common Land Model and the Community Land Model (CLM).

The documentation of the dataset can be downloaded here, including readme file and the data citation paper (with its auxiliary material).

Data citation

Shangguan, W., Y. Dai, B. Liu, A. Zhu, Q. Duan, L. Wu, D. Ji, A. Ye, H. Yuan, Q. Zhang, D. Chen, M. Chen, J. Chu, Y. Dou, J. Guo, H. Li, J. Li, L. Liang, X. Liang, H. Liu, S. Liu, C. Miao, and Y. Zhang (2013), A China Dataset of Soil Properties for Land Surface Modeling, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 5: 212-224.

Data download

The dataset in NetCDF format can be downloaded in the following table.

No.M Attribute Unit Data Figure
1. Soil profile depth centimeter PDEP.nc Figure S1
2. Soil layer depth centimeter LDEP.nc
3. pH Value (H2O) pH units PH.nc Figure S2
4. Soil Organic Matter g/100g SOM.nc Figure S3
5. Total N g/100g TN.nc Figure S4
6. Total P g/100g TP.nc Figure S5
7. Total K g/100g TK.nc Figure S6
8. Alkali-hydrolysable N mg/kg AN.nc Figure S7
9. Available P mg/kg AP.nc Figure S8
10. Available K mg/kg AK.nc Figure S9
11. Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) me/100 g CEC.nc Figure S10
12. Exchangeable H+ me/100 g H.nc Figure S11
13. Exchangeable Al3+ me/100 g AL.nc Figure S12
14. Exchangeable Ca2+ me/100 g CA.nc Figure S13
15. Exchangeable Mg2+ me/100 g MG.nc Figure S14
16. Exchangeable K+ me/100 g K.nc Figure S15
17. Exchangeable Na+ me/100 g NA.nc Figure S16
18. Particle-Size Distribution
Figure S17
Figure S18
Figure S19
19. Rock fragment g/100g GRAV.nc Figure S20
20. Bulk Density g/cm3 BD.nc Figure S21
21. Porosity cm3/100cm3 POR.nc Figure S22
22. Color (water condition unclear) a

23. Dry Color a


Figure S23
24. Wet Color a

Figure S23
25. Dominant and Second Structure b - S1.nc
Figure S24
26. Dominant and Second Consistency c - C1.nc
Figure S25
27 Root Abundance Description d - R.nc Figure S26

a These three color are the soil colors described with 'unclear', dry and wet water condition. We offered hue of Munsell color in numbers instead of symbols to save data storage. The numbers can be converted back into symbols as following. The integer numbers from 0 to 9 represent the ten hue sectors: R, YR, Y, GY, G, BG, B, PB, P and RP, respectively. The decimal numbers represent the number before the symbols. For example, 1.75 can be converted back into symbols as 7.5YR.

b For soil with multiple structure classes, we retain the first two. Codes are as following:
code value code value code value
1 angular 8 granular 15 platy
2 angular blocky 9 granular blocky 16 prismatic
3 blocky 10 massive 17 small blocky
4 big blocky 11 nutty 18 single grain
5 crumb granular 12 nutty blocky 19 sheet
6 columnar 13 nutty grain 20 squamose
7 crumb 14 no structure    

c For soil with multiple consistency classes, we retain the first two. Codes are as following:

code value code value code value
1 compacted 6 loose 11 slightly loose and soft
2 extremely firm 7 loose and soft 12 slightly soft
3 extremely loose 8 slightly firm 13 soft
4 firm 9 slightly hard 14 sticky and firm
5 hard 10 slightly loose 15 very firm

d For root abundance classes, we retain the first two. Codes are as following: 0=none; 1=very few; 2=moderately few; 3=few; 4=moderate; 5=many; 6=a great many; 7=dense.