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by Ruth Gustafson — January 7, 2021
by Ruth Gustafson — January 7, 2021

Soil Science Information Resources

by Ruth Gustafson – January 7, 2021

This guide is to help you find information and resources related to soil science. 

In a hurry? Your fastest option for assistance is Ask A Librarian 24/7 chat.  This service is staffed collaboratively by libraries nationwide, so the librarian who helps you may work outside of UC Davis.

To access resources from off-campus, make sure you are connected to the library VPN.

Ruth Gustafson

Student Services
Student Services and Researcher Services Librarian



In this Guide:

UC Davis California Soil Resource Lab

Includes SoilWeb Apps.

Resources from the United States Department of Agriculture

Ag Data Commons

Repository covering a variety of agricultural topics, such as agronomy, genomics, hydrology, soils, agro-ecosystems, sustainability science, and economics. Data included in the Ag Data Commons is funded in whole or in part by USDA.

Natural Resources Conservation Service 

Soil Biology Primer

An introduction to the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural productivity and air and water quality. The online Primer includes chapters describing the soil food web and its relationship to soil health and chapters about soil bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

Official Soil Series Descriptions

These official soil series descriptions are descriptions of the taxa in the series category of the national system of classification.

Keys to Soil Taxonomy

Available in English and Spanish.

Soil Geography and Maps

Soil maps and GIS resources.

USDA NRCS Soil Surveys

Includes information on the history of soil surveys, how to use soil surveys, and links to online soil surveys

Web Soil Survey

Provides both tabular and spatial data and allows you to create a custom soil resource report for your specific area of interest.

California Soil Surveys

Published Soil Surveys for California counties. For historical soil surveys (not in the web soil survey) that say ‘archived pdf online’, information on viewing the maps can be found here.

Technical Resources  

National conservation practice standards, assessment data, maps, and analysis.

Resources from the Food and Agriculture Organization (United Nations)

Harmonized World Soil Database

A raster database that combines existing regional and national updates of soil information worldwide with the information contained within the 1:5 000 000 scale FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World (FAO, 1971-1981).  Display or query composition in terms of soil units, and soil parameters (organic Carbon, pH, water storage capacity, soil depth, cation exchange capacity of the soil and the clay fraction, total exchangeable nutrients, lime and gypsum contents, sodium exchange percentage, salinity, textural class and granulometry).

FAO Soils Portal: Legacy Soils Maps and Soil Databases

Includes links to regional and national soil maps and datasets.

World Soil Information

Soil class and property information from more than 100,000 soil profiles worldwide, compiled and harmonized by the International Soil Reference and Information Centre for over 50 years.  Online access to 8,000 maps and 15,000 reports and books, digitized from what may be the world’s largest library on soils.

Climate Data Online (National Climate Data Center, NOAA)

Provides downloadable data from weather stations worldwide, free to users from educational institutions by request.  Hourly data available include: temperature, precipitation, wind speed and wind direction.

Environmental Protection Agency Publications (National Service Center for Environmental Publications, US EPA)

A searchable database of digitized EPA publications.