SOILBOOK, the special book of soils
The website SOILBOOK is a project of TB Unterfrauner GmbH. We, Hans Unterfrauner and team, have longtime 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 main focus of our work is soil fertility.
Another main part of our work is creating awareness for soil related issues. Besides training and continuing education we constantly develop tools and methods to illustrate the enormous meaning of soils for humans and ecosystems. For example we provide spectacular and unique soil-insights with „soil 3D“. The Bildliche Mitschrift (visual transcript) of a seminar about soil fertility and climate change with Hans Unterfrauner and Robert Six is available as JPG for interested parties. We vividly prepared the issues of Probenahme (soil sampling), Nährstoffe (nutrients), Phosphor (phosphorus) and Puffersysteme (buffering systems) and printed them on coasters.
The soil ecosystem develops as a buffer between the atmosphere and the bedrock/parent rock for soil formation (stones, rocks, sediments,…) or the ground water body. The topsoil is forming the fertile crumb, is inhabited by lots of creatures and is 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 the finite resource soil is very low. According to information from the FAO 24 billion tons of fertile topsoil is lost annually. On the other hand the formation of 1 centimeter of fertile soil can take between 100 und 300 years!
Soil is crucial for the continuity of mankind and is providing various functions:
- production function (food, animal feed)
- filter- buffer- transformation function
- habitat function (biologic 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 for soil issues and to promote the wide range of different soils. In spring of 2020 this idea was realized on www.soilbook.info. The digital soil book is available for all interested persons free of charge. You can contribute contents or simply browse through the existing soil profiles.