Abstract

Soil classification is a difficult issue and requires many years of study under the guidance of experienced teachers. In the course of long-term studies and field research, soil scientists acquire the skills of recognizing and correctly naming many important features resulting from litho-, anthropo- or pedogenic processes. The problem with learning the secrets of this art is the lack of opportunity to see many examples of different soil features hidden beneath the earth's surface. Visiting many regions of the world for didactic or scientific purposes, we felt the need to share our photographic collections with other people involved in the study and interpretation of the soil environment. It is with great pleasure that we present to the reader a set of several hundred photographs showing the features, properties, soil horizons, as well as examples of interpretation of soil profiles – in accordance with the rules and nomenclature adopted in the international soil naming and classification system – the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (2022). The book has been divided into several chapters. The photos have been arranged in such a way as to reflect the process of creating a description of the soil profile – from environmental features, through morphological soil features, diagnostic horizons, properties and materials, to specific examples of soil profile classification. In the section with soil profiles, we managed to collect 100 examples from all Reference Soil Groups found in all climatic zones of our planet. In the names of the soils, we have mainly emphasised those features (qualifiers) that are morphologically identifiable in the photos, consciously omitting those that can only be read from the results of laboratory analyses. We hope that the handbook, developed as one of outcomes of an Erasmus+ project Share Your Soils (SYStem), will be useful in didactic and scientific work and will help to understand what the individual soil characteristics look like, in general and in the context of the nomenclature used in the World Reference Base for Soil Resources

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