IUSS Alert 57 (January 2010)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New Pedometron

PedometronWe are happy to bring you the latest issue of Pedometron , December 2009. You can download it here  (size: 3.3 Mb). It has exciting and latest articles on every aspect of Pedometrics: The Richard Webster Medal, PM 2009 report from Beijing, Soil texture wizard (in R), an article on how to incorporate soil aging in digital soil mapping, the Hilbert-Huang transform, digital soil mapping in Ireland, soil carbon sequestration, a detailed report from the Geomorphometry conference 2009, Soil Bibliometrics on NIR in soil science, Profiles: Sabine Grunwald & Anthony Young. There is also some Pedomathemagica to solve. The next pedometrics conference will be held in the Czech Republic in mid 2011. 


EGU - Vienna

The impact of soil degradation on soil functioning. European Geosciences Union General Assembly, 3-10 May 2010 in Vienna, Austria. in the Soil System Science Division: "The impact of soil degradation on soil functioning" Conveners: Erik Cammeraat, Bas van Wesemael & John Quinton. Soils are fundamental to Man's existence on Earth. They are essential for food, fuel and fibre production, regulate production of greenhouse gases, and help to protect and regulate water resources. Soils also provide a habitat for biota, can safeguard our cultural heritage and archaeology, are the foundation for the built environment and supply us with raw materials for a variety of industries. The need to protect all these functions is now being recognised in political circles: the European Union has drafted a Soil Framework Directive, US Senate has adopted a resolution on soil and nine European countries have put in place soil protection legislation. However, a significant threat to soil and its functionality is soil degradation, whether by erosion, salinity or compaction. Delivering on new soil policies will require us to understand the impact of soil degradation and develop robust methodologies to quantify, monitor and mitigate these impacts on all soil functions. This session will assesses the extent of our current understanding of the significance of soil degradation for different soil functions, and examine some of the challenges that lie ahead in delivering soil protection frameworks. http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2010/session/2497. Abstracts are welcome and the submission deadline is 18 January 2010

New Publications

Human and Socioeconomic Consequences of Desertification.Human and Socioeconomic Consequences of Desertification. Rubio, J.L and Andreu, V. (Coords.). 2009, 276 p, 46 illus., 44 in color. Softcover, ISBN: 978-84-92777-42-6. As a result of human activities and climate change the processes of desertification are progressing. Around 40% of the earth surface is threatened by risk of desertification, including wide areas of Mediterranean. Desertification, at the latest consequences represents the dismantling of all biospheric potential of the affected zone and its conversion into a barren and unproductive territory. Te effects of soil degradation  not only menace the land agricultural potential of providing food and biomass but also its implies the alteration of the hydrological cycle, drastic decrease in biodiversity, development of feedback mechanisms affecting important climatic parameters, and in addition, the increase of the catastrophic consequences of hazards such as forest fires, landslides and floods. All these processes give rise to important human and socio-economic implications. However, the social perception of this problem is limited and, generally, its intricate mechanisms and processes are not visualized as something worrying at the level of perception of, for example, the tendency to global warming. Contributing to a greater information and scientific and social implication in the fight against desertification, in this book are analyzed processes and factors, biophysical and socio-economic consequences, scientific and technological responses, and proposals of integrative, participatory and implicated initiatives to avoid and reverse the tendency of the desertification menace.  E-mail:

An Introduction to Soil Dynamics An Introduction to Soil Dynamics.An Introduction to Soil Dynamics An Introduction to Soil Dynamics. Series: Theory and Applications of Transport in Porous Media , Vol. 24 . Verruijt, Arnold. 2010, XIV, 434 p. 201 illus., 6 in color. With CD-ROM. Hardcover ISBN: 978-90-481-3440-3. This book presents the basic principles of soil dynamics, and a variety of solutions of practical interest for geotechnical engineering, geophysics and earthquake engineering. Emphasis is on analytical solutions, often including the full derivation of the solution, and giving the main parts of computer programs that can be used to calculate numerical data. Reference is also made to a website from which complete computer programs can be downloaded. Soil behaviour is usually assumed to be linear elastic, but in many cases the effect of viscous damping or hysteretic damping, due to plastic deformations, is also considered.
Special features are: the analysis of wave propagation in saturated compressible porous media, approximate analysis of the generation of Rayleigh waves, the analysis of the response of soil layers to earthquakes in the deep rock, with a theoretical foundation of such problems by the propagation of Love waves, and the solution of such basic problems as the response of an elastic half space to point loads, line loads, strip loads and moving loads.

Carbon Sequestration in Forest Ecosystems Carbon Sequestration in Forest Ecosystems LorenzCarbon Sequestration in Forest Ecosystems Carbon Sequestration in Forest Ecosystems Lorenz. Klaus, Lal, Rattan 2010, XIX, 277 p. 19 illus. in color. Hardcover ISBN: 978-90-481-3265-2. Carbon Sequestration in Forest Ecosystems is a comprehensive book describing the basic processes of carbon dynamics in forest ecosystems, their contribution to carbon sequestration and implications for mitigating abrupt climate change. This book provides the information on processes, factors and causes influencing carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems. Drawing upon most up-to-date references, this book summarizes the current understanding of carbon sequestration processes in forest ecosystems while identifying knowledge gaps for future research, Thus, this book is a valuable knowledge source for students, scientists, forest managers and policy makers. It is written for: Graduate and undergraduate students, scientists, forest managers, policy makers

Digital Airborne Camera Digital Airborne Camera - Introduction and Technology. Digital Airborne Camera Digital Airborne Camera - Introduction and Technology. Sandau, Rainer (Ed.) Original German edition published by Wichmann Verlag. 2010, XII, 343 p. 215 illus., Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4020-8877-3. Digital airborne cameras are now penetrating the fields of photogrammetry and remote sensing. Due to the last decade's results in research and development in the fields of for instance detector technology, computing power, memory capacity position and orientation measurement it is now possible with this new generation of airborne cameras to generate different sets of geometric and spectral data with high geometric and radiometric resolutions within a single flight. This is a decisive advantage as compared to film based airborne cameras. The linear characteristic of the opto-electronic converters is the basis for the transition from an imaging camera to an images generating measuring instrument. Because of the direct digital processing chain from the airborne camera to the data products there is no need for the processes of chemical film development and digitising the film information. Failure sources as well as investments and staff costs are avoided. But the effective use of this new technology requires the knowledge of the features of the image and information generation, its possibilities and its restrictions. This book describes all components of a digital airborne camera from the object to be imaged to the mass memory device. So the image quality influencing processes in the nature are described, as for instance the reflection of the electromagnetic sun spectrum at the objects to be imaged and the influence of the atmosphere. Also, the essential features of the new digital sensor system, their characteristics and parameters, are addressed and put into the system context. The complexity of the cooperation of all camera components, as for instance optics, filters, detector elements, analogue and digital electronics, software and so forth, becomes transparent.

Soils, Plants and Clay Minerals. Mineral and Biologic Interactions. Velde, Bruce, Barre, Pierre. 2010, X, 349 p. 106 illus., Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-642-03498-5. This book considers the inter-relations between plants and minerals in an entirely new way, in that it introduces the notion of eco-engineering: i.e. the manipulation of the mineral world by the living world to the ends of the living world. These inter-relations are the basis for traditional agriculture and should be the basis for new, ecologically oriented land management disciplines, including agriculture itself. These relations also have an impact on surface geochemistry and determine pollution problems. A better understanding of this concept will lead to a renewed consideration of surface environmental problems.


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