Physical Condition of Surface Soil

Dataset Number1044
Dataset TitlePhysical Condition of Surface Soil
CustodianData Authority: Department for Environment and Water
Data Provider: Department for Environment and Water


DescriptionSoil structure in this assessment refers to the degree of resistance offered by the soil to root penetration and seedling emergence, to the free movement of air and water, and to the ease of cultivation and other surface management operations. Surface soil condition varies significantly across the landscape and is affected by management practice as well as by inherent properties of the soil. The assessment only indicates where soil structural problems could potentially be significant, and does not define specific occurrences within particular conditions. The most significant surface soil physical limitation in South Australia is the condition known as hard setting. Surface seals which develop on hard setting soils have low infiltration rates (leading to surface ponding of water, or excessive runoff/erosion)SELECT 1 FROM DUAL; have a narrow moisture range for effective working, which can result in patchy emergence. Hard setting soils generally have high proportions of fine sand and silt, and insufficient swelling clay content to allow for internal volume changes. The clay particles may be dispersive, and organic matter levels may be low, but these latter are not prerequisite for hard setting. Five Physical Condition of Surface Soil analysis data classes (including not applicable) have been supplied as percentage values of Soil Landscape Map Units to be used for the calculation of spatial data statistics. Note: the sum of all percentage values for each map unit totals 100%. Soil Landscape Map Units are categorised INTO five legend categories (plus not applicable) according to the proportion of land with surface soils susceptible to hard setting and/or sealing.
UsageLink to Soil Attribute Descriptions. This dataset has been derived from the Soil Landscape Map Units spatial dataset to be used for map creation or the calculation of spatial data statistics. Used to supply Government, community groups, industry and the general public with up to date regional, subregional and catchment level land and soil attribute information for southern South Australia. The aim is to produce maps, statistics and reports displaying and describing: Land and soil attributes within southern South AustraliaSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; Land surface features affecting land use, land management and productivitySELECT 1 FROM DUAL; Limitations / suitability of land and soil for a range of agricultural and other uses. Further information: soil and land attributes. Physical Condition of Surface Soil dataset can be viewed on NatureMaps (>Soils>Soil Physical Condition Attributes). Spatial data downloads are available from Data SA.

Data Quality

LineageThe dataset is based on an interpretation of 1:40,000 stereo colour aerial photography and limited field inspection of landscapes and soils by soil scientists. Soil Landscape Map Unit boundaries were determined after an integration of field observations and recordingsSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; laboratory analysesSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; stereoscopic examination of aerial photographsSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; understanding of regional landscape processes and stratigraphySELECT 1 FROM DUAL; existing soil and geological mapping data. To avoid inconsistencies and confusion, any updates to the Soil and Land Attribute mapping are to be managed by DEWNR Soil and Land Program. This data has been released under a Creative Commons licence. Where products are derived from this data, DEWNR are to be acknowledged, and any changes to the original data should be indicated.
CompletenessComplete. The spatial data is subject to amendment as and when more data become available.
Positional AccuracyThe accuracy is to the scale of mapping (50 metres at 1:50,000 and 300 metres at 1:100,000 mapping scale). The spatial data is to be used at the regional, subregional and catchment level, and can be used to provide property overviewsSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; however, cannot be used at the paddock level. South East, Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and the 'bottom' of Yorke Peninsula have been mapped at 1:50,000. Eyre Peninsula, the main part of Yorke Peninsula, Murray Mallee and Northern Agricultural Districts have been mapped at 1:100,000. Map unit boundaries should be treated as transition zones.

Geographic Extent

Extent NameAgricultural Region - South Australia
Min Easting or Longitude132.25
Min Northing or Latitude-38
Max Easting or Longitude141
Max Northing or Latitude-32.25

Dataset Status

Initially Acquired01-AUG-1976
Last Updated01-JUL-2009
Update FrequencyAs required
Maintenance MethodAs required
LicenseingCC BY (Attribution)


TableNameField AliasData TypeDescription
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceLANSLU CharacterSoil Landscape Map Unit.
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceCOND_SURF CharacterProportion of land with surface soils susceptible to hard setting or sealing (Legend category. See layer file for descriptions).
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceC1 NumberPercentage of map unit with satisfactory surface soil condition.
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceC2 NumberPercentage of map unit with slight limitation (soil prone to hard setting) to surface soil condition.
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceC3 NumberPercentage of map unit with moderate limitation (soil is dispersive) to surface soil condition.
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceC4 NumberPercentage of map unit with severe limitation (soil is highly dispersive) to surface soil condition.
Landscape.SALAD_Condition_SurfaceCX NumberPercentage of map unit which is not applicable.

Contact Information

OrganisationDepartment for Environment and Water
Science Monitoring and Knowledge
Postal AddressGPO Box 1047