PIRSA's soil landscape mapping programme was undertaken to provide standardized regional scale information about the nature of the land and potential and limitations for agricultural use across the higher rainfall areas of the State. All areas south of the Pastoral Lease boundary, with the exception of a strip of Perpetual Lease land along the western edge of the pastoral country between Morgan and Yunta, have been mapped. Where existing mapping was available, it was used as an additional information source, or else incorporated into the overall coverage.
The maps, at scales of 1:50,000 or 1:100,000 are landscape surveys supplemented by soils information, rather than detailed soil surveys. The main mapping units are Land Systems. These are broad landscape features within which there are recurring patterns of geology, topography, soils and vegetation. They have local geographic names abbreviated to three letters. Each Land System comprises one or more Soil Landscape Units. These are recognizable topographic features formed on a particular geological material or group of materials. They include a limited and defined range of soil classes. They therefore have similar land attributes and land use potential.
The maps and land descriptions were compiled using 1:40,000 scale aerial photography, existing geology and soil maps, and data collected during field investigations. The field work was designed to provide a general indication of the soils and other features of the various landscapes identified by aerial photograph interpretation. The field assessments included morphological descriptions to depths of between 50 and 200 cm, depending on the nature of the soil, and site descriptions in accordance with the standards set out in the Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook (McDonald et al 1990). Soil profiles were classified according to the Australian Soil Classification (Isbell, 1996).
Laboratory determinations of pH and electrical conductivity were made on selected samples from the field survey. More detailed chemical analyses were undertaken on samples from 700 representative sites across the state. The data from these representative sites is available from PIRSA Land Information at the Waite Campus at cost of transfer.
|Land systems||Large (usually more than 50 km˛ in area) areas of land with a recognizable and repeating pattern of topography, geology, soils and vegetation.|
|Soil landscapes||Areas of land (typically 0.5 to 50 km˛ in area) with recognizable topographic features and a limited range of soil types.|
In the PIRSA mapping framework, soil landscapes are nested within land systems.
Most areas are mapped at 1:100,000 scale. The South East (south of latitude 36o30'), the Mount Lofty Ranges, and Kangaroo Island are mapped at 1:50,000 scale. Maps at both scales are based on the standard map sheet series.
Continuity and extent of data
The area of coverage is shown on the attached map. All coverages join (ie no edge mis-match), including across 1:100,000 / 1:50,000 scale boundaries.
Approximately 25,000 site records of profile and land surface descriptions. 730 characterization sites with profile morphology, chemistry and photograph.
Look-up tables are attached to the polygon coverage. These tables contain coded data summarizing a range of soil and landscape attributes which affect land use and land management. The attributes are:
|Attributes related to agricultural productivity||Attributes related to land degradation|
Depth to hard rock / hard pan
Water holding capacity
Rootzone depth (for five irrigated crops types)
Depth to water table
Carbonates (surface and subsoil)
Toxic elements (Al, B, Na)
Subsoil conditions for root growth
Soil classes (dominant and associated)
|Water erosion potential
Wind erosion potential
Acid sulfate potential
Gully / tunnel / stream bank erosion
Dry saline land (magnesia)
The polygon data are in Arc Info format with linked look up tables.
Crop potential models
Models (or data interpretation rules) have been developed to derive crop potential maps for 20 field crop, horticultural and pasture species.
Click here (2.8 MB) for an example of a map of potential for viticulture in the south-east of SA
|×||Land system / soil landscape maps and reports.|
|×||Attribute maps (individual attributes, or combinations) and statistics. This category includes soil class maps.
Click here (1.2 MB) for an example: a map of susceptibility to water repellence.
|×||Crop potential maps and statistics.
Click here (2.8 MB) for an example of a map of potential for viticulture in the south-east of SA.
The above are available in electronic as well as hard copy format. Any geographic coverage is possible, provided that the boundaries are on file, or can be added.
One of the main advantages of GIS based mapping is the capacity to provide non standard or customized products for individual clients. Generally, more than one data set is used to generate such products. Data sets which are commonly used in combination with soil landscape attribute data are rainfall, groundwater resources, native vegetation, roads and cadastre, land use and specific use areas. For example, in a specified Economic Development Region, the area of land with potential for olives can be calculated and mapped, further data can be generated to identify where there is a co-existence of favourable land and groundwater supplies, and how much of this potential area is unsuitable due to constraints such as parks, native vegetation, reserves, specific land use zones etc.
Accessing data and information
Primary data can be made available in electronic format at cost of transfer. Interpreted or customized information, including crop potential maps require consultancy services which are charged accordingly.
Soil Landscape mapping coverage
Link to the Map Maker to make a map using this information.
Download technical documents describing the Australian Soil Resources Information System modelling procedures:
- technical document detailing the development of soil property prediction using soil maps (PDF 9.1 MB)
- technical document detailing estimation of particle size distribution (PDF 1.3 MB)
- spreadsheet detailing laboratory methods used and number of samples (MS Excel 86 KB)
- table detailing land use classes used in Australian Soil Resources Information System modelling (MS Word 32 KB)
- statement on data quality for South Australian data sets (MS Word 24 KB)
- statement on data quality for Western Australia data sets (MS Word 24 KB)
Proposed Polygon Standards
- technical document detailing the polygon data standard for land resource data sets (MS Word 77 KB)
- technical document detailing the polygon attributes proposed as part of the polygon standard for land resource data sets (MS Word 24 KB)
Some documents on this website are available as PDF files. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF files.
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