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Dataset Open Access

EstSoil-EH: A high-resolution eco-hydrological modelling parameters dataset for Estonia (dataset)

Kmoch, Alexander; Kanal, Arno; Astover, Alar; Kull, Ain; Virro, Holger; Helm, Aveliina; Pärtel, Meelis; Ostonen, Ivika; Uuemaa, Evelyn

For the EstSoil-EH dataset, we synthesized more than 20 extended eco-hydrological variables for Estonia  as numerical and categorical values from the original Soil Map of Estonia, the Estonian 5m Lidar DEM, Estonian Topographic Database and EU-HydroSoilGrids layers. The Soil Map of Estonia maps more than 750 000 soil units throughout Estonia at a scale of 1:10 000 and forms the basis for EstSoil-EH. It is the most detailed and information-rich dataset for soils in Estonia, with 75% of mapped units smaller than 4.0 ha, based on Soviet era field mapping. For each soil unit, it describes the soil type (i.e. soil reference group), soil texture, and layer information with a composite text code, which comprises not only of the actual texture class, but also of classifiers for rock content, peat soils, distinct compositional layers and their depths. To use these as eco-hydrological process properties in modelling applications we translated the text codes into numbers. The derived parameters include soil profiles (e.g., layers, depths), texture (clay, silt, sand components), coarse fragments and rock content. In addition, we aggregated and predicted physical variables related to water and carbon (bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, organic carbon content, available water capacity).
The developed methodology and dataset will be an important resource for the Baltic region, but possibly also all other regions where detailed field-based soil mapping data is available. Countries like Lithuania and Latvia have similar historical soil records from the Soviet era that could be turned into value-added datasets such as the one we developed for Estonia.


We created an extended eco-hydrological dataset for Estonia, the EstSoil-EH, containing derived numerical values for the following data in all of the mapped soil units in the 1:10 000 soil map: soil profiles (e.g., layers, depths), texture (clay, silt, and sand components), rockiness, and physical variables related to water and carbon (bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, organic carbon content). Ultimately, our objective was to develop a reproducible method for deriving numerical values to support modelling and prediction of eco-hydrological processes in Estonia using the popular Soil and Water Assessment Tool.

For more information on the development of this dataset look for "EstSoil-EH: a high-resolution eco-hydrological modelling parameters dataset for Estonia", Alexander Kmoch, Arno Kanal†, Alar Astover, Ain Kull, Holger Virro, Aveliina Helm, Meelis Pärtel, Ivika Ostonen and Evelyn Uuemaa, 2021, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 83–97, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-13-83-2021 

This research has been supported by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions individual fellowships under the Horizon 2020 Programme grant agreement number 795625, the Mobilitas Pluss postdoctoral researcher grant number MOBJD233 and grant numbers PRG352, PRG609, and PRG874 of the Estonian Research Council (ETAG), the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence EcolChange), the NUTIKAS programme of the Archimedes foundation, and by the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre.
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