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Design of a soil information system for DR Congo

Ann Verdoodt (UGent) , Geert Baert (UGent) , Michel Ngongo and Eric Van Ranst (UGent)
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Abstract
Given the economic importance of agriculture in the Congo Basin, there has always been a great need for soil information. This poster illustrates the design of a soil information system of DR Congo using legacy soil data collected from 1935 until present. A multitude of soil survey data were collected in the DR Congo from 1935 till the 1990s. However, since 1960, during the major events and subsequent periods of instability that took place in DR Congo, a major part of the legacy soil data was lost. Other data were not easily accessible as they were not published. To prevent further loss of the existing soil data and increase accessibility to Congolese and other scientists, soil maps, exploratory texts and technical reports were stored in a digital soil database by the Laboratory of Soil Science of the Ghent University in collaboration with the Laboratories of Soil Science of the Universities of Lubumbashi and Kinshasa (VLIR-funding). Availability of existing natural resources data of DR Congo enabled to develop a SOTER (SOil and TERrain) database for Central Africa in 2006-2007 in the frame of an ISRIC-UGent-FAO project. The methodology focused on the identification of areas of land with a distinctive pattern of landform, lithology, surface form, slope, parent material and soil. A physiographic map was derived after analysis of SRTM satellite data of the region. The geological map was translated into a lithological map. These thematic maps were combined to give the SOTER unit maps at scale 1:2M for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Additional information characterising the non-mappable terrain and soil components was selected, harmonised and inserted in a relational database of soil profile data. The soil information system provides inputs in a large number of applications in DR Congo, as land evaluation for food and industrial crops in different agro-ecological zones of DR Congo, investigation of soil hydraulic properties, modelling of carbon sequestration, …
Keywords
Soil and Terrain Database, Soil Information System, Digitalization, Legacy Soil Data

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Verdoodt, Ann, Geert Baert, Michel Ngongo, and Eric Van Ranst. 2013. “Design of a Soil Information System for DR Congo.” In Nutrition and Food Production in the Congo Basin. Brussels, Belgium: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences.
APA
Verdoodt, A., Baert, G., Ngongo, M., & Van Ranst, E. (2013). Design of a soil information system for DR Congo. Nutrition and food production in the Congo Basin. Presented at the International conference on Nutrition and Food Production in the Congo Basin, Brussels, Belgium: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences.
Vancouver
1.
Verdoodt A, Baert G, Ngongo M, Van Ranst E. Design of a soil information system for DR Congo. Nutrition and food production in the Congo Basin. Brussels, Belgium: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences; 2013.
MLA
Verdoodt, Ann, Geert Baert, Michel Ngongo, et al. “Design of a Soil Information System for DR Congo.” Nutrition and Food Production in the Congo Basin. Brussels, Belgium: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, 2013. Print.
@inproceedings{4159795,
  abstract     = {Given the economic importance of agriculture in the Congo Basin, there has always been a great need for soil information. This poster illustrates the design of a soil information system of DR Congo using legacy soil data collected from 1935 until present. A multitude of soil survey data were collected in the DR Congo from 1935 till the 1990s. However, since 1960, during the major events and subsequent periods of instability that took place in DR Congo, a major part of the legacy soil data was lost. Other data were not easily accessible as they were not published. 
To prevent further loss of the existing soil data and increase accessibility to Congolese and other scientists, soil maps, exploratory texts and technical reports were stored in a digital soil database by the Laboratory of Soil Science of the Ghent University in collaboration with the Laboratories of Soil Science of the Universities of Lubumbashi and Kinshasa (VLIR-funding). Availability of existing natural resources data of DR Congo enabled to develop a SOTER (SOil and TERrain) database for Central Africa in 2006-2007 in the frame of an ISRIC-UGent-FAO project. The methodology focused on the identification of areas of land with a distinctive pattern of landform, lithology, surface form, slope, parent material and soil. A physiographic map was derived after analysis of SRTM satellite data of the region. The geological map was translated into a lithological map. These thematic maps were combined to give the SOTER unit maps at scale 1:2M for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Additional information characterising the non-mappable terrain and soil components was selected, harmonised and inserted in a relational database of soil profile data. 
The soil information system provides inputs in a large number of applications in DR Congo, as land evaluation for food and industrial crops in different agro-ecological zones of DR Congo, investigation of soil hydraulic properties, modelling of carbon sequestration, {\textellipsis}},
  author       = {Verdoodt, Ann and Baert, Geert and Ngongo, Michel and Van Ranst, Eric},
  booktitle    = {Nutrition and food production in the Congo Basin},
  keyword      = {Soil and Terrain Database,Soil Information System,Digitalization,Legacy Soil Data},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Brussels, Belgium},
  publisher    = {Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences},
  title        = {Design of a soil information system for DR Congo},
  year         = {2013},
}