IUSS Alert 113 (November 2014)

Soil Micromorphology Newsletter

The October 2014 newsletter is online at www.iuss.org. It includes remembrances for three great soil scientists and micromorphologists that passed away recently: Prof. Gerhard Reuter, MSc Susana Pazos and Prof. Krystyna Konecka-Betley. You will also find a photographic report of the Kubiëna Medal, awarded to Prof. Rienk Miedema during the last IUSS meeting in Jeju, together with the reports on micromorphology and paleopedology courses that took place during 2014: Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Tremp and Wurzburg;  and announcements of forthcoming courses and meetings. Regarding future publications, a new edition of the book “Interpretation of Micromorphological Features of Soils and Regoliths” is foreseen, and the editors (Stoops et al.) are asking for suggestions to improve its second edition.


Spring school on mapping and assessment of soils

From 18 to 22 May 2015, ISRIC - World Soil Information will organise a Spring School on digital soil mapping, soil assessment and classification for soil and environmental scientists, students, soil experts and professionals in natural resources management. This spring school is a contribution to the Global Soil Partnership implementation. The Spring School will take place on the Wageningen Campus in the Netherlands and will consist of two five-day courses that are run in parallel. For more information and registration: www.isric.org/content/isric-spring-school-2015


International Field Course and Soil Judging Contest

September 1-5, 2015 Hungary. As part of the celebrations of the International Year of Soils (IYS), an International Field Course and Soil Judging Contest will be organized September 1-5, 2015 in Gödöllő, Hungary. Participants (in the form of teams and individuals) will contest their knowledge and practical skills to describe, understand and interpret soil characteristics in the field. To prepare for the event, a three day technical training course is offered to learn and practice the international standards and guidelines on local soils and landscapes. Read more:  http://soiljudging-iys2015.com/

International Year of Soils – 2015

2015 is the International Year of Soils and the IUSS with its many cooperating organizations will celebrate the international year of soils in a big way. Meetings and conferences have been planned and a tentative list is given here  Please send all you planned activities and meetings to

Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

PSS-2015: Sensing soil condition and functions. The 4th Global Workshop on Proximal Soil Sensing (GWPSS2015) will be held in Hangzhou, China on May 12-15, 2015.  The workshop is sponsored by the IUSS working Group on Proximal Soil Sensing and several institutes in China.  The theme is “Sensing soil condition and functions”. The workshop will provide a forum for researchers, professionals and engineers from all over the world to present their latest research and development results, and to exchange and share information and experiences in the fields of PSS, such as in situ measurement of soil properties, proximal sensing of soil carbon and biota, sensor data processing and fusion, sensor-based digital soil mapping, combing proximal and remote sensing, development of multi- sensor platforms, advances in soil electro-magnetic technologies, and new application of PSS. More info: www.gwpss2015.com

The Dan Yaalon Symposium. Vienna and Uherske Hradiste, 8-11 April 2015. We will honor Prof. Dan Yaalon's memory and life's work with a special IUSS Symposium that will be held in Vienna and Uherske Hradiste from 8-11 April 2015. Please inform us soon if you would like to contribute to this event: or  https://danyaalonsymp.uni-hohenheim.de/. Please provide the title of your abstract, and mention if you wish to contribute with a poster or an oral presentation. Please note that the 1 December 2014 will be the last date for abstract submission. The technical and schedule details will be sent in the second circular. 


New Publications

Soil Sequences Atlas. M. Świtoniak, P. Charzyński (Eds.). 2014. Nicolaus Copernicus University Press. ISBN 978-83-231-3282-0. Hardcover 212 pages. To understand the soil-landscape relation it is necessary to study the spatial diversity of soil cover. This book provides an extensive database of soil sequences from the following countries: Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The main objective is to present a great diversity of soil-landscape/climate/hydrology relations and its effect on patterns in soil cover. Most recent edition of the WRB system (2014) was used to classify soils. The collected data will be useful in soil-science teaching, helping to understand variability of soil cover and influence of various soil-forming factors on development of 'Earth skin'. Pdf can be downloaded for free from ResearchGate:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266851450_Soil_Sequences_Atlas

Suelos con acumulaciones calcáreas y yesíferas de Argentina (Soils with calcareous and gypsiferous accumulations in Argentina).  Perla Amanda Imbellone (Editor). Asociación Argentina de la Ciencia del Suelo. Ediciones INTA. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2014.  ISBN 978-987-521-477-4. 219 p. (In Spanish with abstracts in English). The book includes an Introduction on general aspects of calcareous and gypsiferous soils of Argentina and eight chapters devoted to specific studies on these soils, mainly in the Pampean Region and Patagonia, formed under arid to humid climates (1: Calcretes of SW Córdoba province. 2: Calcium carbonate accumulations in soils of Central-SE Buenos Aires province. 3: Calcareous soils of NE littoral Buenos Aires province. 4: Calcareous accumulations in the soil cover of southern Buenos Aires province. 5: Genesis of tosca in Pampean soils. 6: Soils with calcareous accumulations in the Upper Valley of Negro river, northern Patagonia. 7: Gypsiferous soils in the Colorado river basin. 8: Properties and genesis of carbonate accumulations in Aridisols from east  central Chubut province). Website: www.agro.uba.ar/catalog/164?page=2

Determination of Metals in Water, Soil and Sediments. By T.R. Crompton. November 17, 2014. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-11-380-2106-8. Hardcover, 300 pages. Price $159.95. The potential health hazards that might arise from the presence of metals in natural waters, soils and sediments are a matter of increasing concern to the water industry, environmentalists, and the general public alike. This comprehensive reference volume draws together and systematizes the vast body of information available in the global scientific literature on the determination of metals in waters, soils & sediments. Sediments in rivers have the property of adsorbing dissolved metals present in the overlying water so that the concentration in the sediment is appreciably greater than that in the water by factors between 100-60,000. The concentration of metals in sediments is a measure of its concentration in water over a period of time and is therefore a useful measure of water quality. Determination of Metals in Natural Waters, Soils & Sediments provides comprehensive information on this subject.

Acid Mine Drainage, Rock Drainage, and Acid Sulfate Soils: Causes, Assessment, Prediction, Prevention, and Remediation. By J.A. Jacobs, J.H. Lehr, and S.M. Testa. 2014. Wiley. ISBN: 978-04-704-8786-0. Hardcover, 520 pages. Price $149.95. Written to help readers understand the formation of AMD, Acid Mine Drainage addresses the generation of acidic waters usually from both used and abandoned coal or metal mines. Offering the most up-to-date ideas on metals remediation, which makes finding control methods relatively easy, the text provides a section on legal and policy issues and details the causes, control, prediction, prevention, and remediation of AMD formation. Case studies from North America, Europe, Asia, and developing countries highlight various approaches to AMD problems.

Soil Strength and Slope Stability, 2nd Edition. By J.M. Duncan, S. G. Wright, and T.L. Brandon., 2014. Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-118-65165-0. Hardcover 336 pages. Price $150.00. Soil Strength and Slope Stability, Second Edition presents the latest thinking and techniques in the assessment of natural and man-made slopes, and the factors that cause them to survive or crumble. Using clear, concise language and practical examples, the book explains the practical aspects of geotechnical engineering as applied to slopes and embankments. The new second edition includes a thorough discussion on the use of analysis software, providing the background to understand what the software is doing, along with several methods of manual analysis that allow readers to verify software results. The book also includes a new case study about Hurricane Katrina failures at 17th Street and London Avenue Canal, plus additional case studies that frame the principles and techniques described. Slope stability is a critical element of geotechnical engineering, involved in virtually every civil engineering project, especially highway development. Soil Strength and Slope Stability fills the gap in industry literature by providing practical information on the subject without including extraneous theory that may distract from the application.

Smith’s Elements of Soil Mechanics, 9th Edition. By I. Smith. 2014. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-0-470-67339-3. Paperback 488 pages. Price $49.95. The 9th edition maintains the content on all soil mechanics subject areas - groundwater flow, soil physical properties, stresses, shear strength, consolidation and settlement, slope stability, retaining walls, shallow and deep foundations, highways, site investigation - but has been expanded to include a detailed explanation of how to use Eurocode 7 for geotechnical design. The key change in this new edition is the expansion of the content covering Geotechnical Design to Eurocode 7. Redundant material relating to the now defunct British Standards - no longer referred to in degree teaching - has been removed. Building on the success of the earlier editions, this 9th edition of Smith’s Elements of Soil Mechanics brings additional material on geotechnical design to Eurocode 7 in an understandable format. Many worked examples are included to illustrate the processes for performing design to this European standard.

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