2020-11-25Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/26123
Guideline for the description of soils in the Berlin metropolitan area
an extension for surveying and mapping anthropogenic and natural soils in urban environments within the German soil classification system
Purpose: In urban areas, humans shape the surface, (re-)deposit natural or technogenic material, and thus become the dominant soil formation factor. The 2015 edition of the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) describes anthropogenic urban soils as Anthrosols or Technosols, but the methodological approaches and classification criteria of national soil classification systems are rather inconsistent. Stringent criteria for describing and mapping anthropogenic soils in urban areas and their application are still lacking, although more than half (53%) of the urban soils in Berlin are built-up by or contain anthropogenic material. Materials and methods: On behalf of the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection and in close cooperation with the German Working Group for Urban Soils, a comprehensive guideline for soil description in the Berlin metropolitan area (BMA), with special regard to anthropogenic/technogenic parent material and anthropogenic soils, has been developed. Our approach includes all previous standard works for soil description and mapping and is based on studies that have been conducted in the BMA over the last five decades. Special emphasis was placed on the integration of our manual into the classification system of the German soil mapping guideline (KA5). Results and discussion: The extension of existing data fields (e.g., the further subdivision of land use types) as well as the creation of new data fields (e.g., pH value) adapted to the requirements of urban soil mapping has been carried out. Additional technogenic materials that occur in urban environments have been added to the list of anthropogenic parent materials. Furthermore, we designed appendices that clearly characterize typical soil profiles of the BMA and depict technogenic materials, their physical and chemical characteristics, as well as their origin and distribution. Our approach will set new benchmarks for soil description and mapping in urban environments, which will improve the quality of urban soil research in the BMA. It is expected that our approach will provide baselines for urban soil mapping in other metropolitan areas. Conclusions: Our guideline is a comprehensive manual for the description of urban soils within a national soil classification system. This mapping guideline will be the future standard work for soil surveys and soil mapping in the federal state of Berlin. Currently, representatives from federal and state authorities are reviewing our guideline, with a view to potentially integrating key components into the classification system of the forthcoming 6th edition of the German soil mapping guideline (KA6).
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