A China data set of soil properties for land surface modeling

Wei Shangguan, Yongjiu Dai, Baoyuan Liu, Axing Zhu, Qingyun Duan, Lizong Wu, Duoying Ji, Aizhong Ye, Hua Yuan, Qian Zhang, Dongdong Chen, Ming Chen, Jianting Chu, Youjun Dou, Jianxia Guo, Haiqin Li, Junjia Li, Lu Liang, Xiao Liang, Heping LiuShuyan Liu, Chiyuan Miao, Yizhou Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


A comprehensive 30×30 arc-second resolution gridded soil characteristics data set of China has been developed for use in the land surface modeling. It includes physical and chemical attributes of soils derived from 8979 soil profiles and the Soil Map of China (1:1,000,000). We used the polygon linkage method to derive the spatial distribution of soil properties. The profile attribute database and soil map are linked under the framework of the Genetic Soil Classification of China which avoids uncertainty in taxon referencing. Quality control information (i.e., sample size, soil classification level, linkage level, search radius and texture) is included to provide "confidence" information for the derived soil parameters. The data set includes 28 attributes for 8 vertical layers at the spatial resolution of 30×30 arc-seconds. Based on this data set, the estimated storage of soil organic carbon in the upper 1 m of soil is 72.5 Pg, total N is 6.6 Pg, total P is 4.5 Pg, total K is 169.9 Pg, alkali-hydrolysable N is 0.55 Pg, available P is 0.03 Pg, and available K is 0.61 Pg. These estimates are reasonable compared with previous studies. The distributions of soil properties are consistent with common knowledge of Chinese soil scientists and the spatial variations over large areas are well represented. The data set can be incorporated into land models to better represent the role of soils in hydrological and biogeochemical cycles in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • china soil characteristics data set
  • land surface modeling
  • soil attribute database
  • soil polygon linkage


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