About us

 About the purpose of the database creating 
Soils show significant morphological variability even within one type of soils. Though, many soil patterns formed by horizons and off-horizon soil morphological elements are not considered in soil analysis for classification purposes. Alongside, soils bearing memory of past and current soil processes may tell us about the history of ecosystems and their modern behavior. The soil patterns are difficult to describe in terms of morphology, and these could be much easier to discuss having high-quality images of soils available. Extensive practical application of digital photography and related image-processing hardware in the soil science has resulted in brand new possibilities for communications between researchers. The application of digital technologies is encumbered by lack of soil images to be found in the Internet. Researchers usually have own data to use, which is unavailable to the scientific community and regionally limited. To overcome this obstacle, the Photosoil database has been initiated to provide a scientific platform for researchers for sharing their photographs of soils with colleagues, who could potentially take advantage of these. The mission of the database lies in facilitating the development of comparative genetic and geographic investigations. It is intended for expanding the knowledge about the morphological diversity of soils among soil researchers and naturalists.
Some of the photos are available on the old "Photosoil" website.


Database content
The database consists of three key sections, which are the soil profiles, the soil morphological elements, and the soil dynamics. The Soil profiles category is the main one in the database and contains images of soils. The soils are tied to the map of the soil profile location. Each profile is analyzed using the Classification and analysis of soils in Russia (2014) and International Soil Classification (World reference base for soil resources, 2014). Brief descriptions of soil-forming factors and soil morphological and genetic features are given. Where available, there may be provided additional photographs of the morphological soil elements, side walls, vegetation community and landscapes. The Soil morphological elements category is filled up with photographs of various soil morphological elements from minor ones related to the mircomorphology up to those with a size of first meters. Similarly to the first category, such images are accompanied with brief description, tied to the soil classifications and to the map. The Soil dynamics category is created for placing photographs, which could clearly demonstrate fast soil transformations, for example, those related to erosion processes.

The database is filled up thanks to the authors, who submitted their photo content. The information about all the authors is given in the Photo content authors section, where it is possible to display an individual photo gallery. The database editors invite everyone, who wishes to publish their images in the Photosoil. The ATTACHED FILE provides a leaflet with the description of requirements to the photo content to be placed.