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National Soils Inventory - NSI

NSI Topsoil Information - NSI Topsoil

The National Soil Inventory (NSI) topsoil data is a spatial, point dataset with 6,127 points, located in a 5km grid across England and Wales. The NSI Topsoil data are available for two time periods, 1983 and 1995.

NSI topsoil contains a comprehensive record of many of the important elemental abundances in the soils of the UK. See below for a complete list.

This dataset can be used to highlight areas of element abundance, and the links between these and some soil properties. It also provides a pH reading of the soil at that point, which can be used to plot the areas more suitable for the growth of acidic soil loving plants.

Amongst other projects, NSI topsoil data has been used as the basis of soil quality indicators employed by DETR/EPSIM, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency and certain local authorities.

How much does this product cost?

  • £1,200 for each individual property across England and Wales;
  • £30 per point, all data for that point (discounted for more than 50 points);
  • £12,300 for the whole dataset.

For detailed pricing information, use our Quotation Advisor utility.

NSI Topsoil (1983 values) 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 466000 National Grid reference easting at 5km resolution with 1km offset from true grid
NORTH_NSI 316000 National Grid reference northing at 5km resolution with 1km offset from true grid
PH 6.4 pH of soil measure after shaking 10ml of soil for 15 minutes with 25ml of water
CARBON 1.6 Organic Carbon (% by wt) measured either by loss-on-ignition for soils estimated to contain more than about 20% organic carbon or by dichromate digestion.
AL_ACID 16836 Total Aluminium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
AS_ACID 4 Total Arsenic concentration (mg/kg) determined by Hydride Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS), extracted into hydrochloric acid after digestion with nitric acid and ashing with magnesium nitrate
BA_ACID 89 Total Barium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
CA_ACID 2541 Total Calcium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
CD_ACID 0.6 Total Cadmium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
CD_EDTA 0.2 Extractable Cadmium concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
CO_ACID 6.2 Total Cobalt concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
CO_EDTA 0.3 Extractable Cobalt concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
CR_ACID 27.3 Total Chromium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
CU_ACID 20.3 Total Copper concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
CU_EDTA 8.3 Extractable Copper concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
F_ACID 44.46 Flouride extracted with 1mol / l sulphuric acid and determined by Ion Selective Electrode (ISE)
FE_ACID 31096 Total Iron concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
HG_ACID   Total Mercury concentration (mg/kg) determined by Hydride Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS), digested in a nitric/sulphuric acid mixture
K_ACID 2210 Total Potassium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
K_NITRATE 101 Extractable Potassium concentration (mg/l) determined by shaking 10ml of air dry soil with 50ml of 1.0M ammonium nitrate for 30mins, filtering and then measuring the concentration by flame photometry
MG_ACID 1703 Total Magnesium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
MG_NITRATE 55 Extractable Magnesium concentration (mg/l) determined by shaking 10ml of air dry soil with 50ml of 1.0M ammonium nitrate for 30mins, filtering and then measuring the concentration by flame photometry
MN_ACID 297 Total Manganese concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
MN_EDTA 27 Extractable Manganese concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
MO_ACID 0.67 Total Molybdenum concentration (mg/kg) determined by Atomic Adsorption Spectrometyr (AAS) in an aqua regia digest
NA_ACID 147 Total Sodium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
NI_ACID 18.9 Total Nickel concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
NI_EDTA 1 Extractable Nickel concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
P_ACID 885 Total Phosphorus concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
P_OLSON 15 Extractable Phosphorus concentration (mg/l) determined by shaking 5ml of air dry soil with 100ml of 0.5M sodium bicarbonate for 30mins at 20 deg.C, filtering and then measuring the absorbance at 880 nm colorimetrically with acid ammonium molybdate solution
PB_ACID 36 Total Lead concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
PB_EDTA 13.8 Extractable Lead concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
SE_ACID 0.24 Total Selenium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Hydride Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS), extracted into hydrochloric acid after digestion with nitric acid and ashing with magnesium nitrate
SR_ACID 25 Total Strontium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
V_ACID 38.34 Total Vanadium concentration (mg/kg) determined by Atomic Adsorption Spectrometyr (AAS) in an aqua regia digest
ZN_ACID 72 Total Zinc concentration (mg/kg) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) in an aqua regia digest
ZN_EDTA 3.1 Extractable Zinc concentration (mg/l) determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) after shaking 10ml of soil with 50ml of 0.05M EDTA at pH 7.0 for 1h at 20 deg. C and then filtering
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NSI Topsoil (1995 values) data and description

The National Soil Inventory (NSI) topsoil data was partially resampled (about a third of the points)in the mid 1990s. These points match with the original survey, and are located on the same 5km grid across England and Wales.

NSI topsoil contains a comprehensive record of many of the important elemental abundances in the soils of the UK. See below for a complete list.

This dataset can be used to highlight areas of element abundance, and the links between these and some soil properties. It also provides a pH reading of the soil at that point, which can be used to plot the areas more suitable for the growth of acidic soil loving plants.

Amongst other projects, NSI topsoil data has been used to set the standards outlined in the DEFRA Sludge to Land report.

How much does this product cost?

  • Prices are available upon request - there is no-standard data product for NSI Topsoil 95

NSI Topsoil (1995 values) data and description

The table above, in NSI topsoil (1983 values), describes the various properties within this data product. Each point contains the information as outlined. For clarity, the two datasets are identical.

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