Soil Site Reporter

National Soils Inventory - NSI

NSI Profile Information - NSI Profile

NSI Profile data from Cumbria

The National Soil Inventory (NSI) profile data is a spatial, point dataset with 6,127 points, located in a 5km grid across England and Wales.

NSI profile provides a very detailed description of the soil profile at the NSI point. From the texture of the soil to the mottle size and colour, many observations are recorded within this fundamental dataset.

Because of the detail of this survey, it is easy to get a good understanding of the soils at the NSI points. Combining this data with chemical NSI data from the NSI topsoil datasets may reveal otherwise hidden trends in the soils of England and Wales.

The fields in the data table, shown below, are repeated for each horizon, or layer, in the soil. This is particularly useful as it allows for easy comparison of the layers as you move down the profile. NSI profile is in essence, a detailed profile description.

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NSI Site data and description

The table below describes the various properties within this data product. Each point contains the information outlined below.

Property Example from data Description
EAST_NSI 381000 National Grid reference easting at 5km resolution with 1km offset from true grid
NORTH_NSI 601000 National Grid reference northing at 5km resolution with 1km offset from true grid
UPPER_DEPTH 15 Horizon upper depth in cm (<0 indicated litter layer)
LOWER_DEPTH 27 Horizon lower depth in cm (999 implies depth below bottom of profile)
TEXTURE sandy loam Soil texture class (includes particle size class and peat codes)
VON_POST   Modified version of the Von Post scale for assessing the degree of decomposition of peat
ESTIMATED_CLAY 17 Clay content (%) estimated in the field
ESTIMATED_SILT 20 Silt content (%) estimated in the field
MATRIX_COLOUR 75YR3/2 Colour of soil matrix following the Munsell colour notation
MOTTLE_ABUND common Abundance of mottles ranging from none to very many
MOTTLE_SIZE medium Classification of the size of the mottles ranging from extremely fine to coarse
MOTTLE_COLOUR 10YR3/3 Colour of the mottles following the Munsell colour notation
SUB_MOTTLE_ABUND few Abundance of subsidiary mottles ranging from none to very many
SUB_MOTTLE_SIZE medium Classification of the size of the subsidiary mottles ranging from extremely fine to coarse
SUB_MOTTLE_COLOUR 75YR3/2 Colour of the subsidiary mottles following the Munsell colour notation
STRUCTURE medium moderately developed subangular structure The shape, size and degree of development of the aggregation, if any, of the primary soil particles into naturally or artificially formed structural units (peds, clods etc)
STONE_ABUND few Class of stone abundance (per cent by volume)
STONE_SIZE medium Size class by diameter (cm) of stones
STONE_TYPE sandstone stones Classification of stone based on recent Geological Survey and other modern publications
CARBONATE non-calcareous Calcium Carbonate level of soil estimated in the field by observing when a few drops of 10 per cent hydrochloric acid are applied
COATING no coatings Clay coats are concentrations of clay around voids, mineral grains or peds. These are classified by the proportion of the area coated using the scale Few (< 10%)< Common (10-50%) and Many (> 50%)
NODULES   The shape, size, nature and composition of nodules and other concretions
POROSITY very porous Classification based on the percentage of macropores (>60um) per unit soil volume
ROOTS common fine woody roots The abundance, size and nature of roots
SOIL_WATER moist Soil water state (DRY, MOIST or WET)
BOUNDARY sharp irregular boundary The degree and distinctness of an horizon boundary depending partly on the contrast between adjacent horizons and partly on the thickness of any transitional zone.

About Us

LandIS, or the Land Information System is one of the offerings of the Cranfield Environment Centre (CEC). Incorporating the National Soil Resources Institute, we are the largest UK national and international centre for research and development, consultancy and training in soils and their interaction with the atmosphere, land use, geology and water resources.

Cranfield Environment Centre
Cranfield University
Bullock Building (B53)
Cranfield campus
MK43 0AL
(01234) 752992

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