Update: 27.05.2018

Five tonnes of animal life can live in one hectare of soil.

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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 111 (September 2014)

Soil art

Soil will figure prominently in the minds of the people that live in and visit Washington (USA) this autumn. The Mall will be the site of an art installation by Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada. This art project, "Out of Many, One," will cover an area of 10-by-6-acres and use 800 tons of soil and 2,000 tons of sand to create a picture of a face only visible from above, such as from the top of the Washington monument, but that will allow people to walk through it.  In keeping with the artist's environmental approach, the sand and soil will be tilled into the ground in November. For more information, please click here.

Conferences and meetings

18th International Soil Conservation Organization (ISCO) conference will be held May 31 – June 5, 2015 in El Paso, Texas, USA.  ISCO is an informal group of soil and water conservation professionals who gather biennially to share research results and new technologies.   In addition to technical presentations in concurrent oral sessions and posters, the conference will feature a full-day technical tour of the Jornada Experimental Range and post-fire reforestation projects in the nearby Sacramento Mountains.  An optional post-conference tour of many famous sites in Arizona will also be available.  For more information, please visit www.Tucson.ars.ag.gov/isco or contact   scott.vanpelt@ars.usda.gov

New Publications

Application of Soil Physics in Environmental Analyses. Series: Progress in Soil Science. By W.G. Teixeira, M.B. Ceddia, M.V. Ottoni, G.K. Donnagema (Eds.) 2014. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-319-06012-5. Hardcover, 400 pages. Price $209.00. The green economy and the recognition of the importance to preserve soil and water have been discussed in many interdisciplinary forums in the world, which invokes the necessity to better characterize the soil and understand the behavior of water in this medium. Soil scientists are an integral part in interdisciplinary studies about the interactions in the continuum soil-plant-atmosphere, soil management practices and indicators of soil quality. The more frequency of natural disasters, as landslides and thunderstorms addresses the importance to integrate soil characteristics in predictive models. This book seeks to integrate the efforts of scientists to meet this demand. Soil physics research has grown considerably specially in the use of innovative sensors, software, soil database, algorithms and modeling techniques have been introduced into soil water relationship and environmental monitoring. In this volume, the authors will bring together the effectiveness of many new field and lab sensors and examine the current state-of-the-art in modeling and data analysis. It also includes innovative approaches and case studies in tropical soils.

Interactions in Soil: Promoting Growth. By J. Dighton, J.A. Krumins (Eds.) 2014. X. Springer. ISBN: 978-94-017-8889-2. Hardcover, 272 pages. Price $129.00. Soil is a heterogeneous medium, which supports more biodiversity per unit volume than any other system. This book explores how that biodiversity is translated into ecological functions supporting plant growth by providing both essential minerals for plant growth and other growth promoting factors like pathogen suppression. Interactions between plants and associated soil organisms evolve through trophic and non-trophic feedback mechanisms, which are moderated by plant-plant interactions (allelopathy), invasive plant species and land use change and pollution. These factors are discussed in natural, agricultural and urban soil systems to provide a framework for a holistic understanding of soil as a dynamic living entity.

Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing. Volume III: Effective Stress Tests, Third Edition. By K.H. Head, and R. Epps. Marc, 2014. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-14-822-2796-3. Hardcover, 416 pages. Price $199.95. This volume provides a comprehensive working manual for the laboratory testing of soils for civil engineers. It is an essential practical handbook for all who are engaged in laboratory testing of soils as well as being of great value to professional engineers, consultants, academics and students in geotechnical engineering. Revised and updated, the contents reflect current practice in standard laboratory test procedures for determining some of the important engineering properties of soils.

Soil Liquefaction during Recent Large-Scale Earthquakes. By R.P. Orense, I. Towhata, and N. Chouw. 2014. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-11-380-2643-8. Hardcover, 280 pages. Price $139.00.  Soil Liquefaction during Recent Large-Scale Earthquakes contains selected papers presented at the New Zealand – Japan Workshop on Soil Liquefaction during Recent Large-Scale Earthquakes (Auckland, New Zealand, 2-3 December 2013). This book will be of great interest to researchers, academics, industry practitioners and other professionals involved in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Foundation Engineering, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics.

Sulfate Reduction for Remediation of Gypsiferous Soils and Solid Wastes. UNESCO-IHE PhD Thesis. By P. Kijjanapanich.  2014. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-11-380-1535-7. Paperback, 160 pages. Price $79.95. Construction and demolition debris (CDD) and gypsiferous soils contain elevated concentrations of sulfate, which can cause several environmental and agricultural problems. Reduction of the sulfate content of CDD and gypsiferous soils is an option to overcome these problems. This study aimed to develop sulfate removal systems either by biological or chemical processes to reduce the sulfate content of CDD and gypsiferous soils in order to decrease the amount of solid wastes and to improve the quality of CDD and soils for recycling purposes or agricultural applications. The treatment concept leaches the gypsum contained in the CDD by water. The sulfate containing leachate is further treated and reused in the leaching step. A mixture of cheap organic materials can be utilized as electron donor for the biological sulfate reduction step, especially in gypsiferous soils treatment. The sulfide containing effluent from the bioreactor can be removed by electrochemical sulfide oxidation system.

Humic Matter in Soil and the Environment. Principles and Controversies, Second Edition. By K.H. Tan. 2014. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-14-822-3445-9. Hardcover, 482 pages. Price $139.95. The field of humic matter research has undergone drastic changes in concepts and principles, and a second edition is now warranted to communicate these advances. This revised and updated edition continues the tradition of providing comprehensive coverage of the genesis, extraction, properties, and impacts of humic matter on agriculture, industry, and the environment. Chapters examine organic matter; present concepts of humus versus humic matter; and explore the nature and distribution, chemical composition, characterization, electrochemical properties, agronomic and industrial applications, and medicinal and pharmaceutical applications of humic substances.