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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.06 Soil-Scientific Characteristic Values (Edition 2002)

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Overview and Statistical Base

In addition to a survey of the distribution and heterogeneity of the particular soil associations in the municipal area (cf. Map 01.01), data on their ecological properties are of great importance for statements regarding the qualities, sensitivity and pollution of the soil. This involves primarily characteristic values regarding the chemistry, the physical state and the water balance of the soil. The quality of these characteristic quanta is determined primarily by the soil associations, but it is substantially influenced by current land use.

The soil-scientific characteristic quanta described here have been derived from the soil associations under consideration of land use (cf. Maps 06.01 and 06.02). The assumption was that given a certain land use, the quality of the characteristic soil values for certain soil associations would be identical, in the context of the required precision of statements, for all lots of such a combination.

The characteristic quanta for every combination of land use and soil associations were determined as representative values from existing documents. The data were primarily taken from the assistance manual for the maps of soil associations (Dissertation, Grenzius 1987), in which landscape segments and sample profiles on particular soil associations are documented, based largely on measurements by the Institute for Soil Science at the Technical University of Berlin. In addition, various other soil-scientific maps were evaluated. Moreover, it was possible to access the results of the extensive soil analyses of the heavy-metal investigation program for humus content and pH values.

If no measurements were available for certain combinations, the values were assessed by expert evaluations, using data of comparable uses or comparable soil associations. Due to the in many cases very different number of measurements available per combination and the great variety of analogical evaluations, the precision of the values given varies greatly.

For most characteristic quanta, the data refer to the topsoil (0 - 10 cm) and the subsoil (90 - 100 cm) separately.

Due to the map scale, the units given in the legend of the soil map refer to soil associations the soils which in many cases show very heterogeneous soil-ecological qualities. The complexity of the ecological conditions, with the assigned typical values which refer to a single characteristic soil type of the respective soil association, is represented in greatly simplified terms. Therefore, the soil-scientific database contains, in addition to the representative value (e.g. typical pH value), the maximum and minimum values available from the corresponding evaluations.

For these reasons, the maps are therefore designed only as general maps for the scale 1:50,000, and cannot replace site-specific investigations in particular cases.

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