Update: 21.03.2018

Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

IUSS Alert 88 (October 2012)

Kubiëna Medal 2014 – Call for nominations

The Kubiëna Medal was introduced by Subcommission B - Soil Micromorphology of the ISSS to commemorate the memory of Walter L Kubiëna for his distinguished contribution to soil micromorphology. It is the only medal awarded by the IUSS and is given for outstanding and sustained performance in the discipline of soil micromorphology and to date there have been eight awards: E. Yarilova, R. Brewer, H.J Altemüller, G. Stoops, E.A FitzPatrick, L. Wilding , H. Mucher and N. Fedoroff. It is presented at the IUSS Congress. The selection committee is formed by all past awardees + IUSS Commission chair and past-chair. The next medal will be presented at the IUSS World Congress in Jeju (Korea). Guidelines for nominations: 1. Statement of key achievements and career highlights of the nominee (1 page) 2. Curriculum vitae detailing career history and publication record of the nominee 3. Name of proposer and seconder for the nominee 4. Any other relevant information in support of the nominee 5. Full address and contact details for the nominee. Nominations are due January 2013. Please send to: rosa.poch@macs.udl.cat



Newsletter Comm. 1.1 – Soil Morphology and Micromorphology

This newsletter contains the report on the 14th IWM Soil Micromorphology held in Lleida (Catalonia) in July 2012, where the Young Micromorphologist's Publication Award was given to Ximena Suárez Villagran and Dominique Todisco (ex-aequo Award), and Nattaporn Prakongkep (Honorable Mention) . Among the forthcoming meetings, the XIIth International Symposium and Field Workshop on Paleopedology (Russia), the Divisional Meeting Soils in Space and Time (Germany), and the proposed symposia  by Comission 1.1. for the 20th Congress Soil Science –Jeju (Korea) are announced. Several publicacions and research notes on soil science and archaeology using soil micromorphology are presented. The news from the Archaeological Soil Micromorphology Working Group are also included, with several course and workshop announcements. Particularly important is the call for nominations for the Kubiëna Medal, to be awarded in the next Congress of Soil Science in Korea. Nominations are needed by end January 2013. The complete newsletter can be read at the Commission web page: http://www.loess.umcs.lublin.pl/newsletter_october%202012.pdf


New Publications

Hydropedology: Synergistic Integration of Soil Science and Hydrology. Henry Lin (Ed.).2012. Elsevier B.V. ISBN: 978-0-12-386941-8. Downloadable forward and index, 800 pages. Price $31.50. Downloadable color plates, 44 pages. Price $31.50. Part I of the book examines fundamental hydrological aspects of the soil’s architecture, biophysical functioning, and geochemical processes. These chapters have a strong emphasis on measurement-derived knowledge at the pore and pedon scale. The chapters of Part II upscale this measurement emphasis to the landscape through a series of case studies. A concluding chapter in Part II details how this knowledge can be incorporated into environmental policies and regulations. The chapters of the final Part III focus on the spatiotemporal modeling of the link between pedology and hydrology and show how these interactions may be mapped across the landscape so that we can better understand and manage the natural capital stocks of our soils and waters – for today and for our future generations.

Soil-Subsurface Change: Chemical Pollutant Impacts. Yaron, Bruno, Dror, Ishai, Berkowitz, Brian. 2012, 2012, XIV. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-24386-8. Hardcover, 366 pages. Price $209.00. This book combines soil science, earth science, and environmental geochemistry, providing comprehensive background information for specialists interested in chemical-induced changes in the soil-subsurface system. Readers are introduced to the chemistry of contaminants that often disturb the natural soil-subsurface equilibrium as a result of human activity. While the soil-subsurface system has in many cases been affected by human impact, the effects of chemical contaminants on the actual matrix and properties have been largely neglected. The major focus of the book is on changes to the soil-subsurface matrix and properties caused by chemical pollution. By integrating results available in the literature, we observe that chemical pollutants may lead to the irreversible formation of a new soil-subsurface regime characterized by a matrix and properties different than those of the natural regime. In contrast to the geological time scales dictating natural changes to the matrix and properties of the soil-subsurface system, the time scale associated with chemical pollutant-induced changes is far shorter and extends over a “human lifetime scale.” The numerous examples presented in the book confirm that chemical contamination should be considered as an additional factor in the formation of a contemporary soil-subsurface regime that is different than that of the pristine system.


Evapotranspiration in the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere System. Series: Progress in Soil Science. Novák, Viliam. 2012, 2012, XVI. Springer. Hardcover, 253 pages. ISBN: 978-94-007-3839-3. Price $129.00. Evapotranspiration and its components (evaporation and transpiration) as a process is one of the basic terms of  Earth's water balance; its importance is accented by the fact that transpiration is the vital element of the biomass production process. The second important property of evapotranspiration is its extreme consumption of solar energy, thus controlling the temperature of the atmosphere and creating favourable conditions for life. Evapotranspiration as an energy consuming process is also the connection between the energy and mass cycles of the Earth. Evapotranspiration is a process performing in the Soil–Plant –Atmosphere System (SPAS); therefore this book is presenting and quantifying it as a catenary process, describing transport of water in the soil, including root extraction patterns and methods of its evaluation. Transport of water through the plant and from the canopy to the atmosphere is also described and quantified. A variety of evapotranspiration (and its components evaporation and transpiration) calculation methods are described, starting from empirical methods up to the most sophisticated ones based on the solution of the  transport equations of water and energy in the SPAS. The most important (and widely used) calculation method - modified  Penman–Monteith method is described in details, ready to be used with data in the book only. Water balance method of evapotranspiration estimation as well as sap flow method description can be found in the book as well. The book can be used by hydrologists, biologists, meteorologists and other specialists as well as by ecology students.

Modelling Water Flow in Unsaturated Porous Media. Accounting for Nonlinear Permeability and Material Heterogeneity. Series: GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences. By Szymkiewicz, Adam. 2013, 2013, XXI. Springer. ISBN: ISBN 978-3-642-23558-0. Hardcover, 237 pages. Price $129.00. The book focuses on two issues related to mathematical and numerical modelling of flow in unsaturated porous media. In the first part numerical solution of the governing equations is discussed, with particular emphasis on the spatial discretization of highly nonlinear permeability coefficient. The second part deals with large scale flow in heterogeneous porous media of binary structure. Upscaled models are developed and it is shown that the presence of material heterogeneities may give rise to additional non-equilibrium terms in the governing equations or to hysteresis in the averaged constitutive relationships.

Heavy Metals in Soils. Trace Metals and Metalloids in Soils and their Bioavailability. Series: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 22. Alloway, Brian J. (Ed.). 3rd ed. 2013, 2013, XVIII. Springer. ISBN: 978-94-007-4469-1. Hardcover, 613 pages. Price $229.00. This book covers the general principles of the occurrence, analysis, soil chemical behaviour and soil-plant-animal aspects of heavy metals and metalloids, followed by more detailed coverage of 21 elements: antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gold, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silver, thallium, tin, tungsten, uranium, vanadium and zinc. This third edition of the book has been completely rewritten by mainly new authors and is now divided into three sections: 1: Basic Principles. 2: Key Heavy Metals and Metalloids. 3: Other Heavy Metals and Metalloids of Potential Environmental Significance. The scope has been widened with four new chapters in Section 1 dealing with toxicity in soil organisms, soil-plant relationships, heavy metals and metalloids as micronutrients for plants and/or animals, and the modelling of critical loads of heavy metals for use in risk assessment and environmental legislation. This book will be of great value to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, research scientists and professionals in environmental science, soil science, geochemistry, agronomy, environmental health and environmental engineering, including specialists responsible for the management and clean-up of contaminated land.