Australian Soil Resource Information System

Australian Soil Resource Information System

The Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS) provides online access to the best available soil and land resource information in a consistent format across the country. ASRIS has been developed for a broad range of users including natural resource managers, educational institutions, planners, researchers, and community groups. The initial phase of ASRIS has had an emphasis on data acquisition to ensure the continuity of a national dataset. A set of interpretations are currently being developed to demonstrate ASRIS's capabilities.

ASRIS uses a hierarchy of mapping units with seven levels. The upper three levels provide descriptions of soils and landscapes across the complete continent. Lower levels provide more detailed information where field surveys have been completed. A consistent set of land qualities is described for map units (tracts). Descriptions from the lowest level feed into summaries at higher levels. Information relates to soil thickness, water storage, permeability, salinity, fertility, and erodibility. ASRIS includes a soil profile database with fully characterized and representative sites.

Estimates of uncertainty are a feature of the system. A distinction is made between attribute uncertainty (due to measurement for a given soil material) and spatial uncertainty (due to natural variation across a landscape). These estimates are provided to encourage formal analysis of the uncertainty of predictions generated using ASRIS data (e.g. crop yield, runoff, land suitability). ASRIS is being released in stages. At the end of 2007 the upper levels will be completed across the country. There will be a restricted coverage at lower levels. Data will also be available for approximately 10,000 representative profiles.

ASRIS will include the original ASRIS 2001 soil information layers for the country in cases where improved coverages have not been generated. Contact the ASRIS team for further information.

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Last updated: April 9, 2013