Soil quality -- Field soil description

ISO 25177:2008 is a guide for describing the soil and its environmental context at a given site. Sites can be natural, near-natural, urban or industrial. It is important to realize that a number of soil samples can be taken at a site to support the soil description. The information provided by the descriptions in ISO 25177:2008 provides the context for the presentation of results from analyses undertaken on soil samples.

Qualité du sol -- Description du sol sur le terrain

L'ISO 25177:2008 constitue un guide pour la description du sol et du contexte environnemental d'un site donné. Les sites peuvent ętre naturels, quasi-naturels, urbains ou industriels. Il est important de souligner qu'un certain nombre d'échantillons de sol peut ętre prélevé sur un site pour compléter la description du sol. Les informations fournies par les descriptions de l'ISO 25177:2008 définissent le contexte de présentation des résultats des analyses réalisées sur les échantillons de sol.

Kakovost tal - Terenski opis tal

Ta mednarodni standard podaja vodilo za opis tal in njihovega okoljskega okvira na dani lokaciji. Lokacije so lahko naravne, skoraj naravne, urbane in industrijske. Pomembno se je zavedati, da se lahko vzame več vzorcev tal na lokaciji, potrebnih za opis tal. Informacije, podane z opisi v tem mednarodnem standardu, podajajo okvir za predstavitev rezultatov analiz, izvedenih na vzorcih tal.

General Information

Status
Replaced
Publication Date
11-Nov-2008
Withdrawal Date
11-Nov-2008
Technical Committee
Drafting Committee
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
27-Oct-2008
Completion Date
12-Nov-2008

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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 25177
First edition
2008-11-15
Soil quality — Field soil description
Qualité du sol — Description du sol sur le terrain
Reference number
ISO 25177:2008(E)
ISO 2008
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
PDF disclaimer

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accepts no liability in this area.
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Details of the software products used to create this PDF file can be found in the General Info relative to the file; the PDF-creation

parameters were optimized for printing. Every care has been taken to ensure that the file is suitable for use by ISO member bodies. In

the unlikely event that a problem relating to it is found, please inform the Central Secretariat at the address given below.

COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2008

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or

ISO's member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
Contents Page

Foreword............................................................................................................................................................. v

Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................... vi

1 Scope ..................................................................................................................................................... 1

2 Normative references ........................................................................................................................... 1

3 General references ............................................................................................................................... 1

3.1 Site/profile numbers ............................................................................................................................. 1

3.2 Location ................................................................................................................................................. 1

3.3 Geographical coordinates ................................................................................................................... 2

3.4 Date of observation .............................................................................................................................. 2

3.5 Author and organization ...................................................................................................................... 2

4 Profile environment .............................................................................................................................. 2

4.1 Previous precipitation .......................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Land use at plot level (checked by detailed field survey) ................................................................ 3

4.3 Type of cultivation or vegetation or human utilization (at the plot level) ....................................... 3

4.4 Geomorphology of the site .................................................................................................................. 4

4.5 Slope length (in metres)....................................................................................................................... 4

4.6 Slope value ............................................................................................................................................ 4

4.7 Orientation (aspect) of the slope......................................................................................................... 4

4.8 Nature of the parent material............................................................................................................... 4

4.8.1 Modified or artificial material............................................................................................................... 4

4.8.2 Natural material..................................................................................................................................... 4

4.9 Presence and depth of water table ..................................................................................................... 5

4.9.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.9.2 Depth...................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.9.3 Minimum depth of water table ............................................................................................................. 5

4.9.4 Maximum depth of water table ............................................................................................................ 5

4.9.5 Nature of the water ............................................................................................................................... 6

5 Surface appearance.............................................................................................................................. 6

5.1 Percentage of land surface occupied by rock outcrops or surface exposures of

“non-natural” material (e.g. on an industrial site) ................................................................................ 6

5.2 Evidence of erosion.............................................................................................................................. 6

6 General designation – Soil type .......................................................................................................... 7

6.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.2 Type of soil classification used........................................................................................................... 7

6.3 Soil type with reference to the soil classification used.................................................................... 7

6.4 Type of horizon designation used ...................................................................................................... 7

6.5 Sequence of horizons........................................................................................................................... 7

7 Horizon or layer description ................................................................................................................ 8

7.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.2 Horizon or layer number ...................................................................................................................... 8

7.3 Depth...................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.4 Estimation of moisture status ............................................................................................................. 8

7.5 Colour of the horizon or layer matrix.................................................................................................. 9

7.6 Mottles ................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.6.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.6.2 Abundance ............................................................................................................................................ 9

7.6.3 Colour .................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.7 Estimated organic matter content..................................................................................................... 10

© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)

7.8 Texture ................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.8.1 Description of texture diagram.......................................................................................................... 10

7.8.2 Estimation............................................................................................................................................ 10

7.9 Coarse elements ................................................................................................................................. 10

7.9.1 General ................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.9.2 Abundance (in percent volume fraction) ..........................................................................................10

7.9.3 Maximum size of the most frequently observed coarse elements ................................................ 11

7.9.4 Nature ................................................................................................................................................... 11

7.10 Carbonates and effervescence.......................................................................................................... 11

7.10.1 Intensity of effervescence.................................................................................................................. 11

7.10.2 Location of effervescence.................................................................................................................. 12

7.11 Main categories of structure.............................................................................................................. 12

7.12 Compactness....................................................................................................................................... 13

7.13 Total estimated porosity..................................................................................................................... 13

7.14 Roots .................................................................................................................................................... 14

7.14.1 Size (diameter) of most frequently observed roots......................................................................... 14

7.14.2 Abundance........................................................................................................................................... 14

7.15 Density of worm channels (usually an average over a number of square decimetres) .............. 14

7.16 Nature of lower horizon boundary .................................................................................................... 14

Annex A (informative) Charts for estimating proportions of mottles, coarse elements, etc.................... 16

Annex B (informative) Reference soil groups of the World Reference Base for soil resources (FAO,

ISRIC and ISSS, 2006)......................................................................................................................... 17

Annex C (informative) Soil horizon designation — Example of the FAO System (2006) .......................... 23

Annex D (informative) Examples of texture diagrams .................................................................................. 28

Annex E (informative) Determination of soil texture in the field.................................................................. 31

Annex F (informative) Some types of soil structure ..................................................................................... 34

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................................................... 35

iv © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies

(ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO

technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been

established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and

non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent

rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

ISO 25177 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 190, Soil quality, Subcommittee SC 1, Evaluation

of criteria, terminology and codification.

This first edition of ISO 25177 cancels and replaces ISO 11259:1998, which has been technically revised.

© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
Introduction

Traditionally, descriptions of soils and their environment were carried out as parts of soil survey and soil

inventories, the purpose of which was to describe the pedogenetic context of the soil and assess applied

aspects, principally agronomic potentials.

Today, many soil observations are made as part of much wider environmental studies, and include analysis

for objectives such as the following:

⎯ the identification of human influences on the soils, particular attention being paid to the negative effects of

these influences (for example, pollution and physical deterioration);
⎯ land protection within the context of “sustainable” agriculture;
⎯ the prediction of the fate of contaminants introduced into the soil;

⎯ the assessment of the consequences resulting from changes in the use of the soil;

⎯ setting up monitoring programmes for specific purposes (observation of changes of soil properties in

time);

⎯ the development of spatial data bases (used in the context of GIS) aimed at facilitating the geographical

representation of these;
⎯ many other uses.

Therefore, this International Standard is based on aspects of the traditional approach to soil description

[for example, the Guidelines for soil description FAO ROME (2006)]. The descriptions of soils and sites alone

are not sufficient. Field and laboratory measurements, whether physical, chemical or biological, must

accompany this description. Care must be taken in the specification of sites and in the methods of sampling

and the number of samples. It is therefore imperative that this International Standard be considered in the

context of other International Standards developed within the framework of ISO/TC 190, Soil quality.

vi © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 25177:2008(E)
Soil quality — Field soil description
1 Scope

This International Standard is a guide for describing the soil and its environmental context at a given site.

Sites can be natural, near-natural, urban or industrial. It is important to realize that a number of soil samples

can be taken at a site to support the soil description. The information provided by the descriptions in this

International Standard provides the context for the presentation of results from analyses undertaken on soil

samples.

NOTE 1 It might not be possible or necessary to record data under all the headings listed in these descriptions.

NOTE 2 Overall guidance for presentation of information from soil surveys is given in ISO 15903.

2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced

document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 3166-1:2006, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions —

Part 1: Country codes

ISO 3166-2:2007, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions —

Part 2: Country subdivision code

ISO 14688-2:2004, Geotechnical investigation and testing —Identification and classification of soil —

Part 2: Principles for a classification
3 General references
3.1 Site/profile numbers
⎯ Profile number
⎯ Survey number or code
3.2 Location
⎯ Country

Country codes according to ISO 3166-1 and ISO 3166-2 shall be used. For historical research, designations

according to ISO 3166-3 should be considered, when necessary.
⎯ Administrative division

To be adapted according to the country: (provinces, states, regions, departments, towns, etc.), both uncoded

and coded.
© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
3.3 Geographical coordinates

⎯ Type of geographical reference system (degrees, Lambert, national reference grid)

⎯ Position within the geographical reference system (longitude in deg/min/s, latitude in deg/min/s)

⎯ Altitude (in metres)
3.4 Date of observation
⎯ Year
⎯ Month
⎯ Day
⎯ Time
3.5 Author and organization
⎯ Author's name
⎯ Accreditation
⎯ Name of organization
⎯ Department
⎯ Address
⎯ Telephone
⎯ Fax number
⎯ E-mail address
4 Profile environment
4.1 Previous precipitation
0 No precipitation within the last month
1 No precipitation within the last week
2 No precipitation within the last three days
3 Rainy but no intense precipitation within the last three days

4 Moderate rain for several days or intense rainfall the day before the observation

5 Extreme precipitation or snow melt or inundation just before the observation
6 Not recorded
2 © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.2 Land use at plot level (checked by detailed field survey)
01 Buildings and industrial infrastructures
02 Mining site (current or past)
03 Metal processing sites
04 Chemical processing sites
05 Oil and gas production sites
06 Metal manufacturing sites
07 Food processing sites
08 Waste disposal sites
09 Cultivated lands
10 Horticulture
11 Grazing
12 Orchards, fruit plantations or grapevines
13 Forest, woodlands
14 Mixed land use (agroforestry or agropastoral)

15 Gathering/hunting-fishing (exploitation of natural vegetation, hunting or fishing)

16 Nature protection (for example, nature reserve, protected area, erosion control by terracing)

17 Wetland (for example, marsh, swamp, mangrove, etc.)
18 Snow or ice cover
19 Bare rock or rocky surface
20 Natural lands
21 Natural grasslands
22 Recreation land
23 Other type of unutilized and unmanaged site
4.3 Type of cultivation or vegetation or human utilization (at the plot level)

Be as clear and precise as possible. For cultivated plants, it may be interesting to note the variety, when

known.

EXAMPLE Grazing (natural meadow, planted grassland); metal processing (ferrous, non-ferrous); mining site (iron,

deep coal, open-cast coal); cultivated lands (maize, oats, rice); horticulture (flowers, vegetables).

© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 3
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.4 Geomorphology of the site
⎯ The position of the site in the landscape
⎯ The geomorphology of the immediate surroundings of the site (scale: 0,1 km)
4.5 Slope length (in metres)
When flat, note 0 (zero).
4.6 Slope value
The average slope value is measured in the vicinity of the soil pit (flat = 0).
Slope may be expressed in percent or degrees:
⎯ slope value, in percent;
⎯ slope value, in degrees.
4.7 Orientation (aspect) of the slope
The orientation of the slope can be expressed in the following ways:
a) N-S-E-W
NE-SE-NW-SW
with VV = variable and AA = flat; or
b) use degrees with the following convention:
0° = north
90° = east
180° = south
270° = west
with VV = variable and AA = flat.
4.8 Nature of the parent material
4.8.1 Modified or artificial material

The nature of the parent material may be modified by the use of the site, or artificial materials may be

imported to a site. The knowledge of the history of the site may provide information about the modifications of

the natural material.
4.8.2 Natural material

The natural parent material and/or bedrock should be described as completely as possible, according to

local knowledge. For example, glacial tills, marine alluvium, metamorphic bedrock, hard limestone, loessic

deposit, etc.
4 © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.9 Presence and depth of water table
4.9.1 General

The depth of the water table generally fluctuates during the year, sometimes in relation with the seasons or

the tide.
In 4.9.2, note the depth of the water table during the description of the site.

Subclauses 4.9.3 and 4.9.4 are included to describe the variations in water-table depth, when there are some

variations in depth and when these variations are known (piezometers, investigations, or as marks on the

walls of the profile).

In 4.9.3, the minimum depth of the water table shall be noted (water table at its highest point).

In 4.9.4, the maximum depth of the water table shall be noted (water table at its lowest point).

When the person writing the description does not know these variations in depth, record “unknown” in 4.9.3

and 4.9.4.

When there is no variation in the water-table depth, or when the describer does not know if there are depth

variations, do not answer the points in 4.9.3 and 4.9.4.
4.9.2 Depth
The depth can be
a) observed or measured,
b) estimated, or
c) not observed.
If it is estimated, observed or measured, the depth is expressed in centimetres.
4.9.3 Minimum depth of water table
The minimum depth of the water table can be
a) observed or measured,
b) estimated, or
c) not observed.
If it is estimated, observed or measured, the depth is expressed in centimetres.
4.9.4 Maximum depth of water table
The maximum depth of the water table can be
a) observed or measured,
b) estimated,
c) not observed.
If it is estimated, observed or measured, the depth is expressed in centimetres.
© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 5
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.9.5 Nature of the water

Make a general estimation, without reference to threshold value of soluble salts or of conductivity, or analytical

values for pollution or contamination, as follows:
⎯ S = saline;
⎯ B = brackish;
⎯ F = fresh;
⎯ P = polluted or contaminated.
Combinations SP, BP or FP are possible.
5 Surface appearance
5.1 Percentage of land surface occupied by rock outcrops or surface exposures of
“non-natural” material (e.g. on an industrial site)

The following categories are widely used in soil description. (Compare the charts shown in Annex A.):

0 None: 0 %
1 Very few: > 0 % and u 2 %
2 Few: > 2 % and u 5 %
3 Common: > 5 % and u 15 %
4 Many: > 15 % and u 40 %
5 Abundant: > 40 % and u 80 %
6 Dominant: > 80 %
7 Not observed
5.2 Evidence of erosion

The classes given below are based upon aspects of soil conditions reflecting present erosion (or

accumulation) and not past or possible future erosion (or accumulation).
0 No visible evidence of erosion
1 Visible evidence of soil loss
1 Sheet erosion
2 Rill erosion
3 Gully erosion
4 Wind erosion
6 © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 12 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
5 Landslides
2 Visible evidence of accumulation
1 Deposition by water
2 Wind deposition
6 General designation – Soil type
6.1 General

In describing soils in their environment, it is normal to allocate the soil to a reference base in an established

soil classification. These allocations are normally based on the expression of pedogenetic processes in the

soil profile. There are many classifications with national origins, but the use of the international soil

classification system, the World Reference Base (WRB), is suggested.

Pedogenetic processes result in the formation of different layers in the soil, generally more or less parallel to

the topographic surface, which are called “horizons”. In the framework of soils deeply modified by human

activity, artificial layers may be due to different kinds of deposits (concrete, bricks, etc.). These kinds of layers

are simply called “layers”. Artificial soils and soils in industrial and urban landscapes are not readily classified

in most established soil classification systems, including WRB. In these conditions, the layers are described

from the surface of the soil as described in Clause 7.
6.2 Type of soil classification used
Record which soil classification or which system is used.
Basically, the WRB classification system is recommended.
6.3 Soil type with reference to the soil classification used
EXAMPLE Albic luvisol.

Annex B gives a list of reference soils according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources, 2006.

NOTE The World Reference Base for soil resources is available on the Internet.
6.4 Type of horizon designation used

Note which type of horizon designation is used, for example FAO (2006) or other national system.

As an example, the FAO system of horizon designation (2006) is given in Annex C, and can be used as a

reference if there is no local or regional system of horizon designation.
6.5 Sequence of horizons
Note the succession of horizons described in the profile.
EXAMPLE A/E/B/C (see Annex C).
© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 7
---------------------- Page: 13 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(E)
7 Horizon or layer description
7.1 General
For each horizon or layer, the following points shall be described.
7.2 Horizon or layer number

The horizons or layers are numbered from 1 to n within each site, and should be described from the surface in

sequence.
7.3 Depth

Note the average depth and range of depths of the appearance and disappearance of each horizon or layer,

in centimetres.

Organic horizons or layers of undecomposed litter shall be noted as greater than zero, preceded with the

sign +.
7.4 Estimation of moisture status

The purpose of this heading is to indicate the conditions under which the other observations are made, and to

give some guidelines for field determination of the soil moisture status.

The water content of a soil is difficult to estimate directly in the field, since the same volume of water in

different soils results in different behaviour, depending on the nature of the soil material, nature and

dimensions of pores, etc.

It is therefore worthwhile to observe the moisture status in the field, which is directly linked with the quantity of

soil water. To determine the moisture status, it may be necessary to make inspections to calibrate the

moisture analysis.
The soil moisture status is indicated as follows.
a) Dry: water content less than the moisture retained at the wilting point.

In the case of cohesive samples (generally more than 17 % clay), this may result in the following soil

properties: hard, nonplastic consistency; soil colour darkens when water is added.

In the case of noncohesive samples, generally when the percentage of clay is less than 17 %, this may result

in the following soil properties: light soil colour, which becomes much darker when water is added; dusty.

b) Slightly moist: water content between field capacity and wilting point.

In the case of cohesive samples (generally more than 17 % clay), this may result in the following soil

properties: partially cohesive, but crumbles when forming a roll of 3 mm thickness; soil colour darkens slightly

when water is added.

In the case of noncohesive samples, generally when the percentage of clay is less than 17 %, this may result

in the following soil properties: soil colour darkens slightly when water is added.

c) Moist: moisture content of soil is near the field capacity; absence of free water.

In the case of cohesive samples (generally more than 17 % clay), this may result in the following soil

properties: stiff; can be formed into a r
...

SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST ISO 25177:2011
01-marec-2011
1DGRPHãþD
SIST ISO 11259:1999
Kakovost tal - Terenski opis tal
Soil quality - Field soil description
Qualité du sol - Description du sol sur le terrain
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: ISO 25177:2008
ICS:
13.080.01 Kakovost tal in pedologija na Soil quality and pedology in
splošno general
SIST ISO 25177:2011 en,fr

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
SIST ISO 25177:2011
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
SIST ISO 25177:2011
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 25177
First edition
2008-11-15
Soil quality — Field soil description
Qualité du sol — Description du sol sur le terrain
Reference number
ISO 25177:2008(E)
ISO 2008
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
PDF disclaimer

This PDF file may contain embedded typefaces. In accordance with Adobe's licensing policy, this file may be printed or viewed but

shall not be edited unless the typefaces which are embedded are licensed to and installed on the computer performing the editing. In

downloading this file, parties accept therein the responsibility of not infringing Adobe's licensing policy. The ISO Central Secretariat

accepts no liability in this area.
Adobe is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Details of the software products used to create this PDF file can be found in the General Info relative to the file; the PDF-creation

parameters were optimized for printing. Every care has been taken to ensure that the file is suitable for use by ISO member bodies. In

the unlikely event that a problem relating to it is found, please inform the Central Secretariat at the address given below.

COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2008

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or

ISO's member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
Contents Page

Foreword............................................................................................................................................................. v

Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................... vi

1 Scope ..................................................................................................................................................... 1

2 Normative references ........................................................................................................................... 1

3 General references ............................................................................................................................... 1

3.1 Site/profile numbers ............................................................................................................................. 1

3.2 Location ................................................................................................................................................. 1

3.3 Geographical coordinates ................................................................................................................... 2

3.4 Date of observation .............................................................................................................................. 2

3.5 Author and organization ...................................................................................................................... 2

4 Profile environment .............................................................................................................................. 2

4.1 Previous precipitation .......................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Land use at plot level (checked by detailed field survey) ................................................................ 3

4.3 Type of cultivation or vegetation or human utilization (at the plot level) ....................................... 3

4.4 Geomorphology of the site .................................................................................................................. 4

4.5 Slope length (in metres)....................................................................................................................... 4

4.6 Slope value ............................................................................................................................................ 4

4.7 Orientation (aspect) of the slope......................................................................................................... 4

4.8 Nature of the parent material............................................................................................................... 4

4.8.1 Modified or artificial material............................................................................................................... 4

4.8.2 Natural material..................................................................................................................................... 4

4.9 Presence and depth of water table ..................................................................................................... 5

4.9.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.9.2 Depth...................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.9.3 Minimum depth of water table ............................................................................................................. 5

4.9.4 Maximum depth of water table ............................................................................................................ 5

4.9.5 Nature of the water ............................................................................................................................... 6

5 Surface appearance.............................................................................................................................. 6

5.1 Percentage of land surface occupied by rock outcrops or surface exposures of

“non-natural” material (e.g. on an industrial site) ................................................................................ 6

5.2 Evidence of erosion.............................................................................................................................. 6

6 General designation – Soil type .......................................................................................................... 7

6.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.2 Type of soil classification used........................................................................................................... 7

6.3 Soil type with reference to the soil classification used.................................................................... 7

6.4 Type of horizon designation used ...................................................................................................... 7

6.5 Sequence of horizons........................................................................................................................... 7

7 Horizon or layer description ................................................................................................................ 8

7.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.2 Horizon or layer number ...................................................................................................................... 8

7.3 Depth...................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.4 Estimation of moisture status ............................................................................................................. 8

7.5 Colour of the horizon or layer matrix.................................................................................................. 9

7.6 Mottles ................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.6.1 General................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.6.2 Abundance ............................................................................................................................................ 9

7.6.3 Colour .................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.7 Estimated organic matter content..................................................................................................... 10

© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)

7.8 Texture ................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.8.1 Description of texture diagram.......................................................................................................... 10

7.8.2 Estimation............................................................................................................................................ 10

7.9 Coarse elements ................................................................................................................................. 10

7.9.1 General ................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.9.2 Abundance (in percent volume fraction) ..........................................................................................10

7.9.3 Maximum size of the most frequently observed coarse elements ................................................ 11

7.9.4 Nature ................................................................................................................................................... 11

7.10 Carbonates and effervescence.......................................................................................................... 11

7.10.1 Intensity of effervescence.................................................................................................................. 11

7.10.2 Location of effervescence.................................................................................................................. 12

7.11 Main categories of structure.............................................................................................................. 12

7.12 Compactness....................................................................................................................................... 13

7.13 Total estimated porosity..................................................................................................................... 13

7.14 Roots .................................................................................................................................................... 14

7.14.1 Size (diameter) of most frequently observed roots......................................................................... 14

7.14.2 Abundance........................................................................................................................................... 14

7.15 Density of worm channels (usually an average over a number of square decimetres) .............. 14

7.16 Nature of lower horizon boundary .................................................................................................... 14

Annex A (informative) Charts for estimating proportions of mottles, coarse elements, etc.................... 16

Annex B (informative) Reference soil groups of the World Reference Base for soil resources (FAO,

ISRIC and ISSS, 2006)......................................................................................................................... 17

Annex C (informative) Soil horizon designation — Example of the FAO System (2006) .......................... 23

Annex D (informative) Examples of texture diagrams .................................................................................. 28

Annex E (informative) Determination of soil texture in the field.................................................................. 31

Annex F (informative) Some types of soil structure ..................................................................................... 34

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................................................... 35

iv © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies

(ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO

technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been

established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and

non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent

rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

ISO 25177 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 190, Soil quality, Subcommittee SC 1, Evaluation

of criteria, terminology and codification.

This first edition of ISO 25177 cancels and replaces ISO 11259:1998, which has been technically revised.

© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved v
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
Introduction

Traditionally, descriptions of soils and their environment were carried out as parts of soil survey and soil

inventories, the purpose of which was to describe the pedogenetic context of the soil and assess applied

aspects, principally agronomic potentials.

Today, many soil observations are made as part of much wider environmental studies, and include analysis

for objectives such as the following:

⎯ the identification of human influences on the soils, particular attention being paid to the negative effects of

these influences (for example, pollution and physical deterioration);
⎯ land protection within the context of “sustainable” agriculture;
⎯ the prediction of the fate of contaminants introduced into the soil;

⎯ the assessment of the consequences resulting from changes in the use of the soil;

⎯ setting up monitoring programmes for specific purposes (observation of changes of soil properties in

time);

⎯ the development of spatial data bases (used in the context of GIS) aimed at facilitating the geographical

representation of these;
⎯ many other uses.

Therefore, this International Standard is based on aspects of the traditional approach to soil description

[for example, the Guidelines for soil description FAO ROME (2006)]. The descriptions of soils and sites alone

are not sufficient. Field and laboratory measurements, whether physical, chemical or biological, must

accompany this description. Care must be taken in the specification of sites and in the methods of sampling

and the number of samples. It is therefore imperative that this International Standard be considered in the

context of other International Standards developed within the framework of ISO/TC 190, Soil quality.

vi © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 25177:2008(E)
Soil quality — Field soil description
1 Scope

This International Standard is a guide for describing the soil and its environmental context at a given site.

Sites can be natural, near-natural, urban or industrial. It is important to realize that a number of soil samples

can be taken at a site to support the soil description. The information provided by the descriptions in this

International Standard provides the context for the presentation of results from analyses undertaken on soil

samples.

NOTE 1 It might not be possible or necessary to record data under all the headings listed in these descriptions.

NOTE 2 Overall guidance for presentation of information from soil surveys is given in ISO 15903.

2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced

document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 3166-1:2006, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions —

Part 1: Country codes

ISO 3166-2:2007, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions —

Part 2: Country subdivision code

ISO 14688-2:2004, Geotechnical investigation and testing —Identification and classification of soil —

Part 2: Principles for a classification
3 General references
3.1 Site/profile numbers
⎯ Profile number
⎯ Survey number or code
3.2 Location
⎯ Country

Country codes according to ISO 3166-1 and ISO 3166-2 shall be used. For historical research, designations

according to ISO 3166-3 should be considered, when necessary.
⎯ Administrative division

To be adapted according to the country: (provinces, states, regions, departments, towns, etc.), both uncoded

and coded.
© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 1
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
3.3 Geographical coordinates

⎯ Type of geographical reference system (degrees, Lambert, national reference grid)

⎯ Position within the geographical reference system (longitude in deg/min/s, latitude in deg/min/s)

⎯ Altitude (in metres)
3.4 Date of observation
⎯ Year
⎯ Month
⎯ Day
⎯ Time
3.5 Author and organization
⎯ Author's name
⎯ Accreditation
⎯ Name of organization
⎯ Department
⎯ Address
⎯ Telephone
⎯ Fax number
⎯ E-mail address
4 Profile environment
4.1 Previous precipitation
0 No precipitation within the last month
1 No precipitation within the last week
2 No precipitation within the last three days
3 Rainy but no intense precipitation within the last three days

4 Moderate rain for several days or intense rainfall the day before the observation

5 Extreme precipitation or snow melt or inundation just before the observation
6 Not recorded
2 © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.2 Land use at plot level (checked by detailed field survey)
01 Buildings and industrial infrastructures
02 Mining site (current or past)
03 Metal processing sites
04 Chemical processing sites
05 Oil and gas production sites
06 Metal manufacturing sites
07 Food processing sites
08 Waste disposal sites
09 Cultivated lands
10 Horticulture
11 Grazing
12 Orchards, fruit plantations or grapevines
13 Forest, woodlands
14 Mixed land use (agroforestry or agropastoral)

15 Gathering/hunting-fishing (exploitation of natural vegetation, hunting or fishing)

16 Nature protection (for example, nature reserve, protected area, erosion control by terracing)

17 Wetland (for example, marsh, swamp, mangrove, etc.)
18 Snow or ice cover
19 Bare rock or rocky surface
20 Natural lands
21 Natural grasslands
22 Recreation land
23 Other type of unutilized and unmanaged site
4.3 Type of cultivation or vegetation or human utilization (at the plot level)

Be as clear and precise as possible. For cultivated plants, it may be interesting to note the variety, when

known.

EXAMPLE Grazing (natural meadow, planted grassland); metal processing (ferrous, non-ferrous); mining site (iron,

deep coal, open-cast coal); cultivated lands (maize, oats, rice); horticulture (flowers, vegetables).

© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 3
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.4 Geomorphology of the site
⎯ The position of the site in the landscape
⎯ The geomorphology of the immediate surroundings of the site (scale: 0,1 km)
4.5 Slope length (in metres)
When flat, note 0 (zero).
4.6 Slope value
The average slope value is measured in the vicinity of the soil pit (flat = 0).
Slope may be expressed in percent or degrees:
⎯ slope value, in percent;
⎯ slope value, in degrees.
4.7 Orientation (aspect) of the slope
The orientation of the slope can be expressed in the following ways:
a) N-S-E-W
NE-SE-NW-SW
with VV = variable and AA = flat; or
b) use degrees with the following convention:
0° = north
90° = east
180° = south
270° = west
with VV = variable and AA = flat.
4.8 Nature of the parent material
4.8.1 Modified or artificial material

The nature of the parent material may be modified by the use of the site, or artificial materials may be

imported to a site. The knowledge of the history of the site may provide information about the modifications of

the natural material.
4.8.2 Natural material

The natural parent material and/or bedrock should be described as completely as possible, according to

local knowledge. For example, glacial tills, marine alluvium, metamorphic bedrock, hard limestone, loessic

deposit, etc.
4 © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.9 Presence and depth of water table
4.9.1 General

The depth of the water table generally fluctuates during the year, sometimes in relation with the seasons or

the tide.
In 4.9.2, note the depth of the water table during the description of the site.

Subclauses 4.9.3 and 4.9.4 are included to describe the variations in water-table depth, when there are some

variations in depth and when these variations are known (piezometers, investigations, or as marks on the

walls of the profile).

In 4.9.3, the minimum depth of the water table shall be noted (water table at its highest point).

In 4.9.4, the maximum depth of the water table shall be noted (water table at its lowest point).

When the person writing the description does not know these variations in depth, record “unknown” in 4.9.3

and 4.9.4.

When there is no variation in the water-table depth, or when the describer does not know if there are depth

variations, do not answer the points in 4.9.3 and 4.9.4.
4.9.2 Depth
The depth can be
a) observed or measured,
b) estimated, or
c) not observed.
If it is estimated, observed or measured, the depth is expressed in centimetres.
4.9.3 Minimum depth of water table
The minimum depth of the water table can be
a) observed or measured,
b) estimated, or
c) not observed.
If it is estimated, observed or measured, the depth is expressed in centimetres.
4.9.4 Maximum depth of water table
The maximum depth of the water table can be
a) observed or measured,
b) estimated,
c) not observed.
If it is estimated, observed or measured, the depth is expressed in centimetres.
© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 5
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
4.9.5 Nature of the water

Make a general estimation, without reference to threshold value of soluble salts or of conductivity, or analytical

values for pollution or contamination, as follows:
⎯ S = saline;
⎯ B = brackish;
⎯ F = fresh;
⎯ P = polluted or contaminated.
Combinations SP, BP or FP are possible.
5 Surface appearance
5.1 Percentage of land surface occupied by rock outcrops or surface exposures of
“non-natural” material (e.g. on an industrial site)

The following categories are widely used in soil description. (Compare the charts shown in Annex A.):

0 None: 0 %
1 Very few: > 0 % and u 2 %
2 Few: > 2 % and u 5 %
3 Common: > 5 % and u 15 %
4 Many: > 15 % and u 40 %
5 Abundant: > 40 % and u 80 %
6 Dominant: > 80 %
7 Not observed
5.2 Evidence of erosion

The classes given below are based upon aspects of soil conditions reflecting present erosion (or

accumulation) and not past or possible future erosion (or accumulation).
0 No visible evidence of erosion
1 Visible evidence of soil loss
1 Sheet erosion
2 Rill erosion
3 Gully erosion
4 Wind erosion
6 © ISO 2008 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
5 Landslides
2 Visible evidence of accumulation
1 Deposition by water
2 Wind deposition
6 General designation – Soil type
6.1 General

In describing soils in their environment, it is normal to allocate the soil to a reference base in an established

soil classification. These allocations are normally based on the expression of pedogenetic processes in the

soil profile. There are many classifications with national origins, but the use of the international soil

classification system, the World Reference Base (WRB), is suggested.

Pedogenetic processes result in the formation of different layers in the soil, generally more or less parallel to

the topographic surface, which are called “horizons”. In the framework of soils deeply modified by human

activity, artificial layers may be due to different kinds of deposits (concrete, bricks, etc.). These kinds of layers

are simply called “layers”. Artificial soils and soils in industrial and urban landscapes are not readily classified

in most established soil classification systems, including WRB. In these conditions, the layers are described

from the surface of the soil as described in Clause 7.
6.2 Type of soil classification used
Record which soil classification or which system is used.
Basically, the WRB classification system is recommended.
6.3 Soil type with reference to the soil classification used
EXAMPLE Albic luvisol.

Annex B gives a list of reference soils according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources, 2006.

NOTE The World Reference Base for soil resources is available on the Internet.
6.4 Type of horizon designation used

Note which type of horizon designation is used, for example FAO (2006) or other national system.

As an example, the FAO system of horizon designation (2006) is given in Annex C, and can be used as a

reference if there is no local or regional system of horizon designation.
6.5 Sequence of horizons
Note the succession of horizons described in the profile.
EXAMPLE A/E/B/C (see Annex C).
© ISO 2008 – All rights reserved 7
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SIST ISO 25177:2011
ISO 25177:2008(E)
7 Horizon or layer description
7.1 General
For each horizon or layer, the following points shall be described.
7.2 Horizon or layer number

The horizons or layers are numbered from 1 to n within each site, and should be described from the surface in

sequence.
7.3 Depth

Note the average depth and range of depths of the appearance and disappearance of each horizon or layer,

in centimetres.

Organic horizons or layers of undecomposed litter shall be noted as greater than zero, preceded with the

sign +.
7.4 Estimation of moisture status

The purpose of this heading is to indicate the conditions under which the other observations are made, and to

give some guidelines for field determination of the soil moisture status.

The water content of a soil is difficult to estimate directly in the field, since the same volume of water in

different soils results in different behaviour, depending on the nature of the soil material, nature and

dimensions of pores, etc.

It is therefore worthwhile to observe the moisture status in the field, which is directly linked with the quantity of

soil water. To determine the moisture status, it may be necessary to make inspections to calibrate the

moisture analysis.
The soil moisture status is indicated as follows.
a) Dry: water content less than the moisture retained at the wilting point.

In the case of cohesive samples (generally more than 17 % clay), this may result in the following soil

properties: hard, nonplastic consistency; soil colour darkens when water is added.

In the case of noncohesive
...

NORME ISO
INTERNATIONALE 25177
Première édition
2008-11-15
Qualité du sol — Description du sol sur le
terrain
Soil quality — Field soil description
Numéro de référence
ISO 25177:2008(F)
ISO 2008
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(F)
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Publié en Suisse
ii © ISO 2008 – Tous droits réservés
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(F)
Sommaire Page

Avant-propos...................................................................................................................................................... v

Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................... vi

1 Domaine d'application.......................................................................................................................... 1

2 Références normatives ........................................................................................................................ 1

3 Références générales........................................................................................................................... 1

3.1 Numéros de site/profil.......................................................................................................................... 1

3.2 Lieu......................................................................................................................................................... 2

3.3 Coordonnées géographiques.............................................................................................................. 2

3.4 Date de l'observation............................................................................................................................ 2

3.5 Auteur et organisation.......................................................................................................................... 2

4 Environnement du profil ...................................................................................................................... 3

4.1 Précipitations antérieures.................................................................................................................... 3

4.2 Utilisation du sol au niveau parcellaire (vérifiée par une enquête détaillée de terrain)................ 3

4.3 Type de culture ou de végétation ou utilisation humaine (au niveau parcellaire)......................... 4

4.4 Géomorphologie du site ...................................................................................................................... 4

4.5 Longueur de pente (en mètres) ........................................................................................................... 4

4.6 Valeur de la pente ................................................................................................................................. 4

4.7 Orientation (exposition) de la pente ................................................................................................... 4

4.8 Nature du matériau parental ................................................................................................................ 5

4.8.1 Matériau modifié ou artificiel ............................................................................................................... 5

4.8.2 Matériau naturel .................................................................................................................................... 5

4.9 Présence et profondeur de la nappe phréatique ............................................................................... 5

4.9.1 Généralités ............................................................................................................................................ 5

4.9.2 Profondeur............................................................................................................................................. 5

4.9.3 Profondeur minimale de la nappe phréatique ................................................................................... 6

4.9.4 Profondeur maximale de la nappe phréatique................................................................................... 6

4.9.5 Nature de l'eau ...................................................................................................................................... 6

5 Aspect de la surface............................................................................................................................. 6

5.1 Pourcentage de la surface de terrain occupée par des affleurements rocheux ou surface

couverte de matériau «non naturel» (par exemple sur un site industriel) .......................................... 6

5.2 Traces d'érosion ................................................................................................................................... 7

6 Désignation générale — Type de sol.................................................................................................. 7

6.1 Généralités ............................................................................................................................................ 7

6.2 Système de classification du sol utilisé............................................................................................. 7

6.3 Type de sol selon le système de classification utilisé...................................................................... 8

6.4 Système de désignation des horizons utilisés.................................................................................. 8

6.5 Succession des horizons..................................................................................................................... 8

7 Description des horizons ou des couches ........................................................................................ 8

7.1 Généralités ............................................................................................................................................ 8

7.2 Numéro d'horizon ou de couche......................................................................................................... 8

7.3 Profondeur............................................................................................................................................. 8

7.4 Évaluation de l'état hydrique............................................................................................................... 8

7.5 Couleur de la matrice de l'horizon ou de la couche........................................................................ 10

7.6 Taches.................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.6.1 Généralités .......................................................................................................................................... 10

7.6.2 Abondance .......................................................................................................................................... 10

7.6.3 Couleur ................................................................................................................................................ 10

7.7 Estimation de la teneur en matières organiques............................................................................. 10

© ISO 2008 – Tous droits réservés iii
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ISO 25177:2008(F)

7.8 Texture ................................................................................................................................................. 10

7.8.1 Description du diagramme de texture .............................................................................................. 10

7.8.2 Appréciation ........................................................................................................................................ 11

7.9 Éléments grossiers ............................................................................................................................. 11

7.9.1 Généralités........................................................................................................................................... 11

7.9.2 Abondance (fraction volumique en %) .............................................................................................11

7.9.3 Taille maximale des éléments grossiers les plus fréquemment observés ................................... 11

7.9.4 Nature ................................................................................................................................................... 12

7.10 Carbonates et effervescence ............................................................................................................. 12

7.10.1 Intensité de l'effervescence ............................................................................................................... 12

7.10.2 Localisation de l'effervescence ......................................................................................................... 12

7.11 Principales catégories de structure .................................................................................................. 13

7.12 Compacité............................................................................................................................................ 13

7.13 Porosité totale estimée....................................................................................................................... 14

7.14 Racines................................................................................................................................................. 14

7.14.1 Taille (diamètre) des racines les plus fréquemment observées .................................................... 14

7.14.2 Abondance des racines...................................................................................................................... 14

7.15 Densité des trous de vers (généralement une moyenne pour un certain nombre de

décimètres carrés) .............................................................................................................................. 15

7.16 Nature de la limite inférieure de l'horizon......................................................................................... 15

Annexe A (informative) Grilles d'évaluation des proportions de taches, d'éléments grossiers, etc....... 16

Annexe B (informative) Groupes de sols de référence du World Reference Base for soil resources

(FAO, ISRIC et ISSS, 2006) ................................................................................................................. 17

Annexe C (informative) Désignation des horizons — Exemple du Système FAO (2006).......................... 23

Annexe D (informative) Exemples de diagrammes de texture..................................................................... 29

Annexe E (informative) Détermination de la texture du sol sur le terrain................................................... 32

Annexe F (informative) Quelques types de structure de sol........................................................................ 35

Bibliographie .................................................................................................................................................... 36

iv © ISO 2008 – Tous droits réservés
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ISO 25177:2008(F)
Avant-propos

L'ISO (Organisation internationale de normalisation) est une fédération mondiale d'organismes nationaux de

normalisation (comités membres de l'ISO). L'élaboration des Normes internationales est en général confiée

aux comités techniques de l'ISO. Chaque comité membre intéressé par une étude a le droit de faire partie du

comité technique créé à cet effet. Les organisations internationales, gouvernementales et non

gouvernementales, en liaison avec l'ISO participent également aux travaux. L'ISO collabore étroitement avec

la Commission électrotechnique internationale (CEI) en ce qui concerne la normalisation électrotechnique.

Les Normes internationales sont rédigées conformément aux règles données dans les Directives ISO/CEI,

Partie 2.

La tâche principale des comités techniques est d'élaborer les Normes internationales. Les projets de Normes

internationales adoptés par les comités techniques sont soumis aux comités membres pour vote. Leur

publication comme Normes internationales requiert l'approbation de 75 % au moins des comités membres

votants.

L'attention est appelée sur le fait que certains des éléments du présent document peuvent faire l'objet de

droits de propriété intellectuelle ou de droits analogues. L'ISO ne saurait être tenue pour responsable de ne

pas avoir identifié de tels droits de propriété et averti de leur existence.

L'ISO 25177 a été élaborée par le comité technique ISO/TC 190, Qualité du sol, sous-comité SC 1, Évaluation

des critères, terminologie et codification.

Cette première édition de l'ISO 25177 annule et remplace l'ISO 11259:1998, qui a fait l'objet d'une révision

technique.
© ISO 2008 – Tous droits réservés v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
ISO 25177:2008(F)
Introduction

Les sols et leur environnement étaient traditionnellement décrits dans le cadre d'expertises et d'inventaires

des sols dont l'objet était la description du contexte pédogénétique du sol et l'évaluation d'aspects appliqués,

principalement les potentiels agronomiques.

De nos jours, bon nombre d'observations sont faites dans le cadre d'études environnementales plus larges

avec des analyses portant sur des sujets tels que:

⎯ l'identification des influences humaines sur les sols, avec une attention particulière portée à leurs effets

préjudiciables (par exemple la pollution et la dégradation physique);
⎯ la protection des sols dans le contexte d'une agriculture «durable»;
⎯ la prévision du devenir des contaminants introduits dans le sol;
⎯ l'évaluation des conséquences liées aux changements d'utilisation du sol;

⎯ la mise en place de programmes de contrôle à des fins spécifiques (observation des changements des

propriétés du sol dans le temps);

⎯ l'élaboration de bases de données spatiales (utilisées dans le cadre de SIG – Système d'Information

Géographique) visant à faciliter leur représentation géographique;
⎯ et beaucoup d'autres usages.

Ainsi, la présente Norme internationale est basée sur les aspects de l'approche traditionnelle de la description

du sol [par exemple les Guidelines for soil description FAO ROME (2006)]. Cependant, la description des sols

et des sites à elle seule ne suffit pas. Il convient que des mesures réalisées sur le terrain et en laboratoire,

qu'elles soient physiques, chimiques ou biologiques, accompagnent cette description. Une attention

particulière doit être portée à la description des sites, aux méthodes d'échantillonnage et au nombre

d'échantillons. Il est par conséquent impératif de considérer la présente Norme internationale dans le contexte

d'autres Normes internationales élaborées dans le cadre de l'ISO/TC 190, Qualité du sol.

vi © ISO 2008 – Tous droits réservés
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NORME INTERNATIONALE ISO 25177:2008(F)
Qualité du sol — Description du sol sur le terrain
1 Domaine d'application

La présente Norme internationale constitue un guide pour la description du sol et du contexte

environnemental d'un site donné. Les sites peuvent être naturels, quasi-naturels, urbains ou industriels. Il est

important de souligner qu'un certain nombre d'échantillons de sol peut être prélevé sur un site pour compléter

la description du sol. Les informations fournies par les descriptions de la présente Norme internationale

définissent le contexte de présentation des résultats des analyses réalisées sur les échantillons de sol.

NOTE 1 Il peut ne pas être possible ou nécessaire d'enregistrer les données correspondant à tous les titres énumérés

dans ces descriptions.

NOTE 2 L'ISO 15903 donne des lignes directrices générales pour la présentation des informations issues des études

de sol.
2 Références normatives

Les documents de référence suivants sont indispensables pour l'application du présent document. Pour les

références datées, seule l'édition citée s'applique. Pour les références non datées, la dernière édition du

document de référence s'applique (y compris les éventuels amendements).

ISO 3166-1:2006, Codes pour la représentation des noms de pays et de leurs subdivisions — Partie 1: Codes

de pays

ISO 3166-2:2007, Codes pour la représentation des noms de pays et de leurs subdivisions — Partie 2: Code

pour les subdivisions de pays

ISO 14688-2:2004, Reconnaissance et essais géotechnique — Dénomination, description et classification des

sols — Partie 2: Principes pour une classification
3 Références générales
3.1 Numéros de site/profil
⎯ Numéro du profil
⎯ Numéro ou code de l'étude
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3.2 Lieu
⎯ Pays

Les codes conformes à l'ISO 3166-1 et à l'ISO 3166-2 doivent être utilisés. Il convient de considérer, le cas

échéant, les désignations conformes à l'ISO 3166-3 pour les recherches historiques.

⎯ Division administrative

À adapter suivant le pays: (provinces, états, régions, départements, villes, etc.), avec et sans code.

3.3 Coordonnées géographiques

⎯ Type de système géographique de référence (degrés, Lambert, coordonnées nationales)

⎯ Positionnement dans le système géographique de référence (longitude en degrés/minutes/secondes,

latitude en degrés/minutes/secondes)
⎯ Altitude (en mètres)
3.4 Date de l'observation
⎯ Année
⎯ Mois
⎯ Jour
⎯ Heure
3.5 Auteur et organisation
⎯ Nom de l'auteur
⎯ Accréditation
⎯ Nom de l'organisation
⎯ Département
⎯ Adresse
⎯ Téléphone
⎯ Numéro de télécopie
⎯ Adresse électronique
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4 Environnement du profil
4.1 Précipitations antérieures
0 Absence de précipitations au cours du mois passé
1 Absence de précipitations au cours de la semaine passée
2 Absence de précipitations au cours des trois derniers jours
3 Pluvieux, mais sans fortes précipitations au cours des trois derniers jours
4 Pluie modérée depuis plusieurs jours ou forte pluie la veille de l'observation

5 Très fortes précipitations ou chute de neige ou inondation juste avant l'observation

6 Non enregistré

4.2 Utilisation du sol au niveau parcellaire (validée par une enquête détaillée de terrain)

01 Bâtiments et infrastructures industrielles
02 Site minier (actuel ou ancien)
03 Sites de traitement métallurgique
04 Sites de traitement chimique
05 Sites de production de pétrole et de gaz
06 Sites de production métallurgique
07 Sites d'industrie alimentaire
08 Sites de décharge
09 Terres cultivées
10 Horticulture
11 Pâturage
12 Vergers, plantations fruitières ou vignes
13 Forêts, bois
14 Terre à usage mixte (agroforesterie ou production agropastorale)

15 Cueillette/chasse-pêche (exploitation de végétation naturelle, chasse ou pêche)

16 Protection de la nature (par exemple réserve naturelle, zone protégée, lutte contre l'érosion par

terrassement)
17 Zone humide (par exemple marais, marécage, mangrove, etc.)
18 Enneigement ou glacier
19 Roche brute ou surface rocheuse
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20 Terres naturelles
21 Prairies naturelles
22 Terrain de loisirs
23 Autre type de site inexploité ou non géré

4.3 Type de culture ou de végétation ou utilisation humaine (au niveau parcellaire)

Être aussi clair et précis que possible. Pour les plantes agricoles, il peut être intéressant de noter la variété,

quand elle est connue.

EXEMPLE Pâturage (prairie naturelle ou temporaire); traitement métallurgique (ferreux, non ferreux); site minier (fer,

charbon d'extraction ou à ciel ouvert); terres cultivées (maïs, avoine, riz); horticulture (fleurs, légumes).

4.4 Géomorphologie du site
⎯ La position du site dans le paysage
⎯ La géomorphologie du milieu environnant du site (échelle: 0,1 km)
4.5 Longueur de pente (en mètres)
Lorsque le sol est plat, noter 0 (zéro).
4.6 Valeur de la pente

La valeur moyenne de la pente est mesurée au voisinage de la fosse d'observation (plat = 0).

La pente peut être exprimée en pourcentage ou en degrés:
⎯ valeur de la pente, en %;
⎯ valeur de la pente, en degrés.
4.7 Orientation (exposition) de la pente
L'orientation de la pente peut être exprimée de la façon suivante:
a) N-S-E-O
NE-SE-NO-SO
avec VV = variable et AA = plat; ou
b) utiliser des degrés avec la convention suivante:
0° = nord
90° = est
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180° = sud
270° = ouest
avec VV = variable et AA = plat.
4.8 Nature du matériau parental
4.8.1 Matériau modifié ou artificiel

La nature du matériau parental peut être modifiée par l'utilisation du site ou des matériaux artificiels peuvent

être importés sur le site. La connaissance de l'historique du site peut fournir des informations sur les

modifications du matériau naturel.
4.8.2 Matériau naturel

Il convient de décrire aussi complètement que possible le matériau parental naturel et/ou le substrat rocheux,

selon les connaissances locales. Par exemple, moraines glaciaires, alluvions marines, substrat

métamorphique, calcaire dur, dépôts lœssiques, etc.
4.9 Présence et profondeur de la nappe phréatique
4.9.1 Généralités

La profondeur de la nappe phréatique fluctue généralement au cours de l'année, parfois en fonction des

saisons ou de la marée.

En 4.9.2, noter la profondeur de la nappe phréatique lors de la description du site.

Les paragraphes 4.9.3 et 4.9.4 ont été inclus pour décrire les variations de la profondeur de la nappe

phréatique, lorsqu'elles existent et qu'elles sont connues (piézomètres, recherche ou indices sur les parois du

profil).

En 4.9.3, la profondeur minimale de la nappe phréatique doit être notée (la nappe phréatique à son niveau le

plus élevé).

En 4.9.4, la profondeur maximale de la nappe phréatique doit être notée (la nappe phréatique à son niveau le

plus bas).

Lorsque ces variations ne sont pas connues de l'observateur, consigner «inconnu» en 4.9.3 et en 4.9.4.

En l'absence de variation de la profondeur de la nappe phréatique ou lorsque l'observateur ignore s'il existe

des variations de profondeur, ne consigner aucune réponse en 4.9.3 et 4.9.4.
4.9.2 Profondeur
La profondeur peut être
a) observée ou mesurée,
b) estimée, ou
c) non observée.

Si elle est estimée, observée ou mesurée, la profondeur est exprimée en centimètres.

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4.9.3 Profondeur minimale de la nappe phréatique
La profondeur minimale de la nappe phréatique peut être
a) observée ou mesurée,
b) estimée, ou
c) non observée.

Si elle est estimée, observée ou mesurée, la profondeur est exprimée en centimètres.

4.9.4 Profondeur maximale de la nappe phréatique
La profondeur maximale de la nappe phréatique peut être
a) observée ou mesurée,
b) estimée, ou
c) non observée.

Si elle est estimée, observée ou mesurée, la profondeur est exprimée en centimètres.

4.9.5 Nature de l'eau

Effectuer une évaluation générale, sans référence à une valeur seuil des sels solubles ou de la conductivité,

ou à des valeurs analytiques dans le cas d'une pollution ou d'une contamination, de la façon suivante:

⎯ S = saline;
⎯ B = saumâtre;
⎯ F = douce;
⎯ P = polluée ou contaminée.
Les combinaisons SP, BP ou FP sont possibles.
5 Aspect de la surface

5.1 Pourcentage de la surface de terrain occupée par des affleurements rocheux ou surface

couverte de matériau «non naturel» (par exemple sur un site industriel)

Les catégories suivantes sont couramment utilisées pour la description du sol (comparer les graphiques

donnés en Annexe A):
0 Aucun: 0 %
1 Très faible: > 0 % et u 2 %
2 Faible: > 2 % et u 5 %
3 Moyen: > 5 % et u 15 %
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4 Élevé: > 15 % et u 40 %
5 Important : > 40 % et u 80 %
6 Très important: > 80 %
7 Non observé
5.2 Traces d'érosion

Les classes données sont basées sur les aspects du sol, témoignant de l'érosion actuelle (ou de dépôts) et

non de l'érosion antérieure ou éventuellement future (ou de dépôts).
0 Pas de preuve visible d'érosion
1 Trace visible d'une perte de terre
1 Érosion en nappes
2 Érosion en rigoles
3 Ravinement
4 Érosion éolienne
5 Glissements de terrain
2 Trace visible de dépôts
1 Dépôt par l'eau
2 Dépôt par le vent
6 Désignation générale — Type de sol
6.1 Généralités

Pour décrire les sols dans leur environnement, il est d'usage de rattacher les sols étudiés à un référentiel

relevant d'une classification de sol établie. Ces rattachements sont généralement basés sur l'expression des

processus pédogénétiques se déroulant dans le profil du sol. Dans de nombreux pays, il existe un système

national de classification, mais il est recommandé d'utiliser le système de classification international des sols

(World Reference Base [WRB]).

Les processus pédogénétiques donnent lieu à la formation de différentes couches dans le sol, qui sont

généralement plus ou moins parallèles à la surface topographique et sont appelées «horizons». Dans le cas

de sols profondément modifiés par l'activité humaine, des couches artificielles peuvent être produites par

différents types de dépôts (béton, briques, etc.). Ces différents types de couches sont simplement appelés

«couches». Les sols artificiels et les sols des paysages industriels et urbains ne sont pas aisément classés

dans la plupart des systèmes de classification des sols établis, y compris le WRB. Dans ces conditions, les

couches sont décrites à partir de la surface du sol, tel que spécifié à l'Article 7.

6.2 Système de classification du sol utilisé
Consigner le système de classification des sols utilisé.
Généralement, le système de classification WRB est recommandé.
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6.3 Type de sol selon le système de classification utilisé
EXEMPLE Luvisol albique.

L'Annexe B donne une liste des sols de référence conformément au World Reference Base for Soil

Resources, 2006.
NOTE Le World Reference Base for Soil Resources est disponible sur l'internet.
6.4 Système de désignation des horizons utilisés

Préciser le système de désignation des horizons utilisé, par exemple FAO (2006) ou tout autre système

national.

L'Annexe C donne en exemple le système de désignation des horizons (2006) de la FAO qui peut être utilisé

comme référence en l'absence de système local ou régional de désignation des horizons.

6.5 Succession des horizons
Préciser la succession des horizons décrits dans le profil.
EXEMPLE A/E/B/C (voir Annexe C).
7 Description des horizons ou des couches
7.1 Généralités
Pour chaque horizon ou couche, les points suivants doivent être décrits.
7.2 Numéro d'horizon ou de couche

Les horizons ou les couches sont numérotés de 1 à n sur chaque site et il convient de les décrire dans l'ordre,

à partir de la surface.
7.3 Profondeur

Noter, en centimètres, la profondeur moyenne ainsi que la variation de profondeur correspondant à

l'apparition et la disparition de chaque horizon ou couche.

Des horizons organiques ou des couches de litières non décomposées doivent porter un numéro supérieur à

zéro, précédé du signe +.
7.4 Évaluation de l'état hydrique

Cette évaluation a pour objet d'indiquer les conditions dans lesquelles les autres observations sont réalisées

et de donner quelques lignes directrices pour la détermination sur le terrain de l'état hydriq

...

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