Share

Background

Soils have been sampled and analyzed in Pennsylvania for characterization since 1954.The initial sampling was done by the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) now known as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).Subsequent samplings have been done by the Penn State Soil Characterization Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the NRCS. Presently, 949 pedons (profiles) have been collected and analyzed.

An account of the history of the sampling is given in Ciolkosz et al. (1998). Initially the data (site, horizon, and laboratory) was available in hard copy printed form. Since the development of the computer, particularly the PC with large data capacities, the Pennsylvania analysis system and data have been computerized (see Ciolkosz, 2000a; Ciolkosz, 2000b; Ciolkosz and Thurman, 1992, 1994; Thurman et al., 1994). The Penn State Soil Characterization system is written in Clipper 5.2d. Clipper is a compiler of a Superset of the dBase language. The product formerly from Nantucket is now maintained and distributed by Computer Associates. The data files are in dBase III & dBase IV format with the exception of the HORZTEMP.DBF file, which is in Clipper format, which allows more that 254 fields. With 949 pedons of data, the system takes up 14 megabytes of disk space. The system is available on this site. Select the System and Data Download option.

References

  • Ciolkosz, E. J. R.L. Cunningham, and J.J. Eckenrode 1998. Pennsylvania Soil Characterization. Chapter 2. In E. J. Ciolkosz, R. L. Cunningham, and J. J. Eckenrode (editors). Pennsylvania Soil Survey History. Penn State University Agronomy Series 142.
  • Ciolkosz, E. J. 2000a. Pennsylvania State University Soil Characterization Laboratory Database System Documentation. Penn State University Agronomy Series 145.
  • Ciolkosz, E. J. 2000b. Pennsylvania State University Soil Characterization Laboratory Database. Agronomy Department. Penn State University. University Park, PA.
  • Ciolkosz, E. J. and N. C. Thurman. 1992. Pennsylvania State University Soil Characterization Laboratory Database System. Penn State University Agronomy Series 124.
  • Ciolkosz, E. J. and N. C. Thurman. 1994. Listing of Characterized Soils in Pennsylvania. Penn State University Agronomy Series 132.
  • Thurman, N. C., E. J. Ciolkosz, and R. R. Dobos. 1994. Pennsylvania State University Soil Characterization Laboratory Methods Manual. Penn State University Agronomy Series 117.