Soil Geochemical Atlas of Ireland

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Resource or Project Abstract

Our soil is an immensely valuable national resource, which forms and evolves over very long periods of time and therefore is essentially a non-renewable resource. Once soil is severely damaged or destroyed it is effectively lost forever. The protection of soil poses some unique difficulties for a number of reasons, such as its enormous spatial variability, incomplete understanding of its exact functioning and reaction to pressures, limited information on soil biodiversity and the fact that soil is generally held in private ownership. However, soil protection needs to be placed on an equal footing with that of water and air. At a national level our information on soil and soil quality is limited. We are pleased to see that this information deficit is being addressed with the publication of this, the first Soil Geochemical Atlas of Ireland. This Atlas shows the basic geochemical properties of soils in Ireland, as revealed by a detailed large-scale survey across the country and analysis of the findings. It provides Ireland with a sound, well-structured baseline of soil geochemical properties relevant to This Atlas is the result of a great deal of hard work by our relevant organisations and academic institutions from across the country and individual experts. They have produced a comprehensive picture of the basic chemistry underpinning life on land, which has resulted from the complex interactions of air, water, soil and human activities. This will aid all of those with an interest in the sustainable use of one of Ireland?s principal natural resources to make well-informed decisions as to its management and conservation. It will also assist Ireland in meeting any future requirements under the proposed Soil Framework Directive. We believe that this Soil Geochemical Atlas is the beginning of a process to ensure that we develop good quality and scientifically robust information on the state of soil in Ireland. By developing our knowledge and understanding of soil we can ensure that soil and its multiple functions are protected for present and future generations.

The resource allows you to download the PDF version of the Soil Geochemical Atlas report. This can be done in two ways - firstly the entire report is available as a 154Mb PDF or secondly the report is separated into individual chapters (six in total).

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Deirdre Fay
Teagasc
Environmental Research Scientist
Teagasc, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Co. Wexford, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)53 9171200
e-mail: rachel.creamer@teagasc.ie

Dr. Gaelene Kramers
Teagasc
Research Officer
Teagasc, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Co. Wexford, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)53 9171200
e-mail: rachel.creamer@teagasc.ie

Dr. Chaosheng Zhang
National University of Ireland Galway
Senior Lecturer
Room 116, AC Building, Department of Geography, NUI Galway, Galway City, Ireland
Telephone: +353-91-492375
e-mail: Chaosheng.Zhang@nuigalway.ie

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    COLLAB_Fay_SoilGeoChemicalAtlas_prn.pdf  (154.88 Mb)
Att 2    Soil_Geochemical_Atlas_part_1.pdf   (0.32 Mb)
Att 3    Soil_Geochemical_Atlas_part_2.pdf   (13.94 Mb)
Att 4    Soil_Geochemical_Atlas_part_3.pdf   (31.42 Mb)
Att 5    Soil_Geochemical_Atlas_part_4.pdf   (36.6 Mb)
Att 6    Soil_Geochemical_Atlas_part_5.pdf   (39.69 Mb)
Att 7    Soil_Geochemical_Atlas_part_6.pdf   (33.11 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Fay, D. Kramers, G. Zhang, C.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationSoil Geochemical Atlas of Ireland
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=4856ff8c-4b2b-102c-b381-901ddd016b14
Unique Identifier4856ff8c-4b2b-102c-b381-901ddd016b14
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-08-24

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Fay, D. Kramers, G. Zhang, C.   "Soil Geochemical Atlas of Ireland". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=4856ff8c-4b2b-102c-b381-901ddd016b14 (Last Accessed: 2017-08-24)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=105
Resource KeywordsSoil Geochemical Atlas Ireland sustainable land use
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project CodeNone
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeLand-use, Soils, and Transport
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceWhile the maps in this atlas will give a good and statistically significant indication of the distribution of the concentrations of an element, soil type, land use or geology, they will not provide local information for specific sites. The geochemical spatial distribution maps, although a very good tool to indicate the relationship between large scale trends related to geology, soil type, land use and climatic effect, are less likely to capture local anomalies. On a local scale, the data point maps may over-exaggerate anomalies when sampling occurred on a specific site which had an exceptionally high or low concentration of an element.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 7
Project Start Date Wednesday 3rd January 2001 (03-01-2001)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 2nd January 1995 (02-01-1995)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 1st December 2006 (01-12-2006)
Published on SAFERFriday 13th February 2009 (13-02-2009)
Date of Last EditFriday 13th February 2009 at 15:00:12 (13-02-2009)
Datasets or Files Updated On Friday 13th February 2009 at 14:19:47 (13-02-2009)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The soil samples for the National Soil Database were taken at fixed locations on a predetermined National Grid made up of 10 x 10 km squares. Two samples were taken from each square, one on the intersection and one at the centre of the square. The sampling locations can be seen on the sample location map on the next page. Sites were located using 1:50,000 maps and assisted by GPS. In the event of it not being possible to take a sample at the projected sampling position, a default procedure similar to that used in the Geochemical Survey of England and Wales (McGrath and Loveland, 1992) was used. At the sites, a 20 x 20 m grid was created with the sampling position at the centre. Soil cores were then taken on the grid at 5 m intervals with a Dutch auger (Eijkelkamp, The Netherlands). The 25 cores were taken to a depth of 10 cm and bulked to form field moist, composite samples weighing approximately 2 - 4 kg. A total of 1310 samples were collected and analysed.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
The information contained in this Soil Geochemical Atlas of Ireland is summarised from data collected between 1995 and 2006 during a countrywide geochemical survey conducted as part of the ?National Soil Database? project. In 1995 and 1996 a geochemical survey of the South East of Ireland was carried out by Teagasc (McGrath and McCormack, 1999). In 2002, funding was provided by the EPA to complete this survey to create a national database of geochemical data. Between 2003 and 2005, soil samples were collected in areas of the country not covered by the original study. All of the data have now been collated to produce point and interpolated spatial distribution maps of the measured chemical
elements and to interpret these with respect to underlying parent material, glacial geology, anthropogenic and climatic effects. This
National Soil Database has produced, for the first time, a national baseline database of soil geochemistry and is reported fully in Fay et al.
(2007a) and summarised in Fay et al. (2007b). The project has also generated a National Soil Archive, comprising both dried soil samples
and a nucleic acids archive.
Supplementary Information
Even though the maps in this study were created using the best available techniques, like all maps, they should be used with caution. There are sources
of uncertainties that are beyond control, e.g. spatial variation and modelling uncertainty.

The EPA/ERC have developed a special web-based interface to the National Soils Database - the links can be found below.
Links To Other Related Resources
  http://erc.epa.ie/nsdb (Opens in a new window)
  http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=7 (Opens in a new window)

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