SOILBOOK, the special book of soils
The website SOILBOOK is a project of TB Unterfrauner GmbH. We, Hans Unterfrauner and his team, have extensive experience in soil science, soil ecology, soil fertility, innovative soil analytics, laboratory methods, field methods of soil science as well as in ecological soil assessment. The principal focus of our work is soil fertility.
Another main part of our work is creating awareness for soil-related issues. Besides training and education, we constantly develop tools and methods to illustrate the enormous meaning of soils for humanity and the planet’s ecosystems. For example, we provide spectacular and unique soil-insights with the project “Soil 3D“. Another initiative, the visual transcript of a seminar about the interaction of soil fertility and climate change with Hans Unterfrauner and Robert Six is available as JPG for interested parties. Furthermore, the issues of soil sampling, nutrients, phosphorus and bufferings systems have been visually prepared in an innovative way and printed on beer coasters.
The soil ecosystem develops as a buffer between the atmosphere and the bedrock/parent material of soil formation (stones, rocks, sediments,…) or the ground water body. The topsoil represents the fertile crumb of our planet, is inhabited by a variety of creatures and is constantly feeding the vegetation. In the subsoil, weathering processes release nutrients from minerals, water is stored and filtered. The ground water body is one of the most important drinking water storages. The quality of our drinking water is significantly affected by soil fertility and land use.
Did you know the 5th of December is world soil day? Probably not, since soil has no powerful lobby which would ensure to deliver soil related issues effectively to the public. Quite the contrary, the awareness for and the understanding of the value of this finite resource soil is actually very low.
According to information from the international Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 24 billion tons of fertile topsoil are lost annually. On the other hand, the formation of 1 centimetre of fertile soil can take between 100 und 300 years!
Soil is crucial for the existence of mankind and is providing various essential functions:
- Production function (food, animal feed)
- Filter- buffer- transformation function
- Habitat function (biological diversity)
- Active flood protection and active groundwater protection
- Climate protection (carbon sink)
Against this background, the team of the TB Unterfrauner GmbH developed the idea of a digital, continuously growing and non-commercial soil book in the year 2019. Everybody is encouraged to contribute. The main goal of the soil book is to raise attention and awareness for soil issues and to promote the wide range in the variety of soils. In spring of 2020, this idea was realized on www.soilbook.info. The digital soil book is available for everyone and completely free of charge. You can contribute by adding content or simply browse through the existing soil profiles.