Land Information System

Welcome to the LandIS Soil Portal

SEISMIC is no longer being supported

Owing to on-going licencing issues SEISMIC is no longer supported and is not being actively developed. If you are still interested in this product please contact Caroline Keay (see contact details below) to discuss your options.

What is SEISMIC?

Spatial Environmental Information System

for Modelling the Impact of Chemicals

SEISMIC system. Image Copyright CSAI, Cranfield University.

SEISMIC is a Spatial Environmental Information System which provides the detailed data required to Model the Impact of Chemicals, specifically diffusely applied agrochemicals such as pesticides. SEISMIC can also be used as an effective browser to examine the national relationships between soil types, topsoil characteristics, cropping and climate patterns anywhere in England and Wales.

SEISMIC has been developed originally by the National Soil Resources Institute (NSRI) in Cranfield University, in collaboration with the British Agrochemicals Association (BAA) and the Pesticides Safety Directorate of Defra.

SEISMIC is the most comprehensive national environmental information system commercially available. It runs on a desktop PC providing comprehensive reports and graphical map outputs.

SEISMIC Users can:

  • Specify named soil types or groups, according to pedological type, hydrological type, organic, chemical leaching or run-off potential and general soil-leaching potential. Soils may also be selected by textural class and by topsoil characteristics (pH, organic carbon, clay and silt);
  • identify all areas with specific selections of soil, agroclimatic and cropping or crop suitability types and access the comprehensive soil and weather parameter data relevant to the selected scenarios;
  • output data reports in graphical map format, and in ASCII data format suitable for input to spreadsheets and modelling applications.

Who should use SEISMIC?

SEISMIC system. Image Copyright CSAI, Cranfield University.

SEISMIC will benefit all those involved in the research, management and regulation of environmental resources in England and Wales. Potential users include:

  • the agrochemical industry
  • environmental and agricultural consultants
  • contract laboratories
  • the water industry
  • universities, colleges and other educational establishments
  • environmental research institutes
  • government departments and agencies

SEISMIC comes with a comprehensive user guide and full context-sensitive help and assistance.


SEISMIC datasets

The wealth of data held in the SEISMIC system

SEISMIC system. Image Copyright CSAI, Cranfield University.

SEISMIC holds a wealth of environmental datasets for England and Wales including:

  • spatial soils data from CSAI's national soil map (5km x 5km resolution);
  • measured soil parameter data for each characteristic layer for all the 412 soil series (soil types) recognised on the national soil map and for these for each of four land uses;
  • spatial cropping data for 65 crop types (5km x 5km resolution of Defra parish agricultural census data);
  • computed agroclimatic data for England and Wales (5km x 5km resolution);
  • computed daily weather data (10 year duration) for representative sites across England and Wales;
  • computed crop suitability data for 7 crop types across England and Wales (5km x 5km resolution).

Soil datasets

Soils data held by SEISMIC

SEISMIC system. Image Copyright CSAI, Cranfield University.

SEISMIC holds both spatial and parameter data derived from Cranfield University's comprehensive LandIS database, compiled during some 60 years of mapping and sampling the nation's soils.

Spatial data is based on the 1:250,000 scale national soil map. Information is held at a 5km x 5km resolution and details the proportion of soil series within each 5km x 5km area within England and Wales.

For each of the 412 soil series (soil types) included in the spatial dataset, parameter data is available for each characteristic soil layer to a depth of 1.5 metres and for each of four different land uses, being: arable; short-term rotational (ley) grassland; long-term (permanent) grassland; 'other' land under semi-natural or recreational use.

Soil parameter data for each layer includes:

  • Upper depth
  • Lower depth
  • Total Sand %
  • Fine Sand %
  • Total Silt %
  • Total Clay %
  • Organic Carbon %
  • pH (1:25 H2O)
  • Bulk density
  • % volume water at 5kPa
  • % volume water at 10kPa
  • % volume water at 40kPa
  • % volume water at 200kPa
  • % volume water at 1,500 kPa
  • % volume total porosity
  • Saturated conductivity
  • Conductivity at 5kPa

Climate and Weather data

Meteorological data held by SEISMIC

SEISMIC system. Image Copyright Cranfield University.

SEISMIC holds spatial climatic data a a 5km x 5km resolution. Long-term mean values of: average annual rainfall; maximum accumulated potential soil moisture deficit; duration of climatic field capacity; and excess winter rain can all be mapped individually or used to generate interactive maps.

For more detailed modelling purposes, synthetic dailky weather parameter datasets (rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, solar radiation) covering a period of 30 years can be accessed for eight representative sites across England and Wales.


Cropping data

SEISMIC holds spatial cropping data relating to actual and potential cropping and land-use patterns.

Actual cropping is based on Defra Parish Agricultural Census returns data, resolved to 5km x 5km resolution by the staff of the Edinburgh Data Library. Each of the 65 different crop types can be selected and used to generate maps.

Potential cropping is based on crop suitability models developed, originally by NSRI, incorporating soil, land and climatic interactions. The crops modelled for suitability include: winter cereals; spring cereals; oilseed rape; sugar beet; maincrop potatoes; forage maize; and grassland. These can all be selected and mapped.


Obtaining SEISMIC

Contact details

For further details concerning the SEISMIC, please contact us:

Caroline Keay
Senior Environmental Information System Specialist
Cranfield Centre for Environmental & Agricultural Informatics
Cranfield University
Building 53a
Cranfield campus
MK43 0AL
Tel: (01234) 752992
Fax: (01234) 752970
Personal web page
Institute home page