The next evolution in soil information: Australia’s Soil and Landscape Grid

Agricultural Resource Risk Management Seminar Series

Presenter: Mike Grundy, CSIRO


The Australian soil information community will soon release the Australian Soil and Landscape Grid. It provides a seamless fine grid of soil functional attributes. It is also a complex information system connected to the diverse Australian soil information legacy. The attributes mapped on the grid include Total N, Total P, Organic C, clay, sand, silt, coarse fragments, pH, EC, AWC, ECEC, rooting depth, soil depth and bulk density. Each attribute will have a depth function included and the grid will be at 3 arc second (approx 90 metres). In addition to the soil functional attributes and soil-depth relationships, the Australian system includes new landscape surfaces (1 and 3 arc second), a soil inference system capable of predicting more complex functions (especially simulation model parameters) and an online storage and access system allowing free data delivery.

It is part of the Australian Soil Resource Information System and a comprehensive enhancement of that system. It has been built as an essential component of Australia’s scientific infrastructure to give new support to all aspects of science which require this enhancement of soil information. A clear example is the biophysical modelling community.

The talk will explore the features of the new system and the increase in utility gained from this addition to our soil information system. In the process of building the system, new tools, methods and scientific understanding have been generated. These include new methods for disaggregating legacy soil maps, new approaches for continental estimations, innovation in covariates, preparation and use of legacy site data, the incorporation of soil inference systems, a new approach to regolith depth estimation and methods to match spatial soil information to simulation modelling. A feature has been the investigation and application of methods to reconcile bottom-up (soil polygon disaggregation) with top-down (continental scale inference) prediction methods.

Three complementary datasets will now exist – the enhanced legacy mapping for the those parts of Australia with good quality correlated soil mapping, the continental estimates of soil attributes and the official national system derived from both.

About the speaker

Mike Grundy is the Theme Leader, Landscape Systems and Trends within the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship. Previously, Mr Grundy led the Managing Australia's Soil and Landscape Assets Theme (MASaLA) where he coordinated research designed to be responsive to, and anticipate the knowledge needs of land resource managers and decision makers across Australia.

Prior to joining CSIRO Mr Grundy was the Leader of the Queensland Salinity Program and Principal Land Resources Officer for the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water. This role included the professional leadership, management and direction of the delivery of activities associated with research and development in land resource assessment across Queensland and through collaborative activities across Australia.

Mr Grundy has a long-standing personal research interest in spatial soil science and its application to agricultural and forest production, environmental protection and systems approaches to complex problems – and has led major multi-disciplinary natural resource assessment activities for nearly 20 years.

This event is free of charge. No RSVP required.

For further information please contact Noel Schoknecht on 9368 3707 or email

When and where

HostDepartment of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Start DateTuesday, 25th February 2014
Start Time3:00 pm
End Time4:00 pm
LocationDepartment of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Theatrette, 3 Baron-Hay Court South Perth
South Perth, WA 6151

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