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									                            EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU  RESEARCH REPORT NO. 4

                   The Romanian PROFISOL Database

Introduction                           Data for pre-determined soil            3.4 running under MS-DOS.
                                       layers 20, 50, 100 and 150 cm           Data from the minicomputer
                                       deep on 1,650 soil profiles             database were transferred
The use of databases is becoming       were stored. Processing consisted       here, and additional data were
more and more frequent in soil         of calculating average soil             stored, bringing the total to
science, as in many other              properties for selected groups of       170 profiles with complete
scientific    fields.     Databases    profiles, and these averages were       data, 450 profiles with
referring    to      soil    profile   used in a preliminary synthesis on      physical and chemical data
description and analysis are           physical properties of soils in         and 4,200 profiles with
examples of this trend (Van            Romania.                                physical data only.
Waveren and Bos, 1988, 1989;
Kimble et al., 1990).                  Based on this early version, a new   Input
                                       database, PROFISOL, was later
An earlier soil profile database       developed. Details, especially on
was developed in Romania in the                                             Representative      soil     profiles
                                       the computer-science procedures,     described and analysed during
1970s (Mielcescu et al., 1977;         are presented elsewhere (Vlad et
Canarache et al., 1981). A Felix-                                           current soil survey work or in any
                                       al., 1996). A general description    other similar activities are the
256 computer with FORTRAN              of the content and facilities
and COBOL software was used.                                                main input in the PROFISOL
                                       offered by PROFISOL, as well as      database.     Each      profile    is
The database referred only to soil     on possible future developments,
physical properties.                                                        identified     by     a     numeric
                                       is presented in this paper.          chronological number. Most of
                                                                            the input data refer to genetic soil
                                       Structure and functions              horizons, a maximum of 10
                                                                            horizons being possible for each
                                       of the PROFISOL                      profile. All input is provided
                                       database                             according to current Romanian
                                                                            soil survey methodology (ICPA,
                                       Hardware and software                1987).

                                       Two versions of the PROFISOL         Three forms for the input data
                                       database are now in use:             have been developed:
A. Canarache
                                        A minicomputer database was
V. Vlad                                   developed at an earlier stage.
                                                                            1. M form, 4 sheets, for location
                                                                               and site description (96
I. Munteanu                               It made use of a DEC PDP-11
                                                                               items), profile description (24
                                          compatible       minicomputer
N. Florea                                 (CORAL-5030/4021) running
                                                                               items) and profile morphology
Anisoara Rasnoveanu                                                            (13 items for each horizon);
                                          FORTRAN          (F77)     and
                                                                            2. F form, 2 sheets, for soil
Daniela Popa                              COBOL 81 under RSX-11M
                                                                               physical properties (40 items
                                          system software. At this stage,
                                                                               for each horizon);
                                          data for 120 profiles with
                                                                            3. C form, 2 sheets, for soil
                                          complete data, 350 profiles
                                                                               chemical properties (34 items
                                          with only physical and
                                                                               for each horizon) and
Research Institute for Soil               chemical data, and 3,400
                                                                               groundwater properties (13
Science and Agrochemistry                 profiles with only physical
                                          data were stored.
Bd. Marasti 61,                         A PC database was later
RO-71331 Bucharest 32,                    developed using an IBM
                                                                            In addition, information on
ROMANIA                                                                     analytical methods used (74
                                          compatible 486 and Paradox

                               EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU  RESEARCH REPORT NO. 4

items), methods of drying the soil         The software was developed in a             refer to global site or
samples (30 items) and origin of           modular way, with independent               morphological indicators such
soil physical data (1 item for each        modules using communication                 as physio-geographic region,
horizon) are included on the input         between      modules    through             texture of specific layers,
forms. Altogether as many as               common, permanent or temporary              degree of gleying, degree of
2167 data items can be stored for          files. Linkage of software and              salinisation, etc. They are
a single soil profile. The                 modules was obtained through a              obtained       using specific
possibilities of including in the          system of hierarchical menus.               algorithms. Other properties
database at a later stage other kinds of   This     resulted  in    several            are soil physical and chemical
soil data, such as microbiology, trace     advantages:                                 properties resulting from
elements or clay mineralogy, are                                                       classical formulae, such as
considered.                                   management of the high                  total porosity, various pore
                                               complexity of the software              size classes, available water
The existing forms are well suited             system                                  capacity and C/N ratio.
to soil profiles where all or most            flexibility;                         2. Calculation of certain data
properties are available. As in               a relatively easy extension of the      missing from the input, but
many cases a somewhat less                     software system;                        which may be obtained from
complete description of the soil              increase in work performance of         classical formulae. Examples
profile is used, the preparation of            teams;                                  are some particle size classes,
an alternative, less detailed, series         decrease in size and complexity         contraction index, etc.
of input forms is foreseen.                    of the individual software           3. Estimation of missing data
                                               components and relative ease of         using pedotransfer functions.
The M form contains mainly                     their modification;                     Such estimation procedures
coded data. It was designed in                protection in inter-conditional         are now available in Romania
such a way as to enable direct                 processing;                             for:
filling in during field work. In              better adjustment to the need to
most cases the “menu” technique                perform various operations at             transformation of Atterberg
was used. The F and C forms                    different time.                            silt (0.002-0.02 mm) and
contain only numerical data. They                                                         fine sand (0.02-0.2 mm) into
repeat some of the basic site and          Due to the large number and                    USDA silt (0.002-0.05 mm)
profile data, and the F form also          varied character of the data                   and fine sand (0.05-0.2 mm)
repeats some of the basic                  included in the database, a data               or vice-versa;
chemical data. This way it is              dictionary had to be prepared for             the parameters of Van
possible, when required, to use            each entry. It includes names,                 Genuchten closed-form water
only one of these forms for                codes, measuring units, implicit               retention capacity (Simota,
several profiles.                          character (when needed), possible              1993);
                                           range of values (in some cases),              several soil moisture constants
Data are introduced to the                 formulae used for calculation or               such as wilting point or field
computer interactively, using a            estimation. More than 600                      capacity (Canarache, 1986);
selection of “video-maquettes”,            different data types are included             saturated             hydraulic
screen images designed to be very          in the dictionary.                             conductivity       (Canarache,
similar in format to the input                                                            1987) or for resistance to
forms. Each form, and various                                                             penetration (Canarache, 1990).
data within the forms, may be
                                           Processing possibilities
entered at any time. Several                                                              They are all continuous
                                           The existing software makes a
validation   procedures      make                                                       pedotransfer functions,. The
                                           series of calculations which
checking of selected input data                                                         pedotransfer functions use as
                                           provides      more    complete
possible. Video-maquettes may                                                           input mainly clay content and
                                           information on the stored soil
be displayed on the computer                                                            bulk density, and most of them
                                           profiles. These are:
screen for examination and/or                                                           are valid only for mineral
validation. All input data are                                                          soils. For the soil hydraulic
stored. Corrections, changes and                                                        properties,     the    existing
                                           1. The identification and/or
updating of data are possible after                                                     pedotransfer functions are
                                              calculation of new properties
storage.                                                                                prepared as graphs from
                                              not included in the input.
                                              Some of these new properties              which spline functions have

                             EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU  RESEARCH REPORT NO. 4

     been obtained and included in         Once profiles of a specific soil      a report with both soil
     the database. Work is now             group     are    selected      as      physical       and      chemical
     being done to improve these           described above, data for each         properties;
     estimation procedures, to use         horizon or layer may be               a listing of profiles included in
     for estimation a larger variety       processed     according        to      a specific group of profiles,
     of input data, to develop             classical             statistical      including some soil properties
     multiple regression equations         procedures. Means, standard            of each profile;
     instead of the spline functions,      errors,    medians,      modes,       reports       with      statistical
     to      extend      pedotransfer      standard deviations, sample            parameters of the main
     functions for organic soils too,      variances, kurtosis, skewness,         physical properties for a group
     and to develop also class             ranges,      minimum         and       of soil profiles, with different
     pedotransfer           functions      maximum        values,       and       reports for various selections
     estimating texture and bulk           confidence      levels        are      of statistical parameters.
     density from information on           calculated.             Various
     physio-geographic region, soil        regressions may also be
     map legend and soil profile           calculated. Possibilities exist      Existing applications
     morphology.                           to use numerical taxonomy
4.   Transformation of measuring           techniques. For the next step,       The main use of the PROFISOL
     units. This type of calculation       adding data treatment for            database since it was started in
     is being done for soil moisture       kriging, linkage of the              the 1970s has been to provide
     constants        to       enable      database to the geographical         data on soil hydraulic properties
     presentation of results as            information system and other         needed in design of irrigation and
     either       weight       (mass)      procedures are envisaged.            drainage projects. Most of the
     percentage,              volume                                            processing facilities offered –
     percentage, or water depth         As described above, most of the         listings of soil profiles, or of
     (mm/ha).                           processing possibilities refer to       average data for groups of
5.   Recalculation of data for          soil physical properties. It is also    profiles were currently used.
     layers of pre-determined           planned to extend some of these
     depth of the soil profile. For     procedures         to     chemical      The database has also been used
     many users of soil properties,     properties. Automatic diagnosis         to improve existing pedotransfer
     such as designers of irrigation    of soil classification and of soil/     functions and to develop new
     and drainage systems, there is     land classes is also considered.        ones.      Various      regression
     a need for data to be referred                                             calculation were used to this end.
     not to soil horizons, but to       Various reports are provided.
     specified standard soil layers.    They include:                           A synthesis of most data included
     The PROFISOL software                                                      in the database was performed to
     enables calculation of such         reports with input data, one          characterise the eco-regions into
     data for most soil physical          each for each of the three            which Romania has recently been
     properties. The resulting data       input data forms;                     subdivided. Soil profiles included
     represent averages weighted         report with soil profile              in the database were grouped by
     according to the thickness and       morphology           description,     ecoregions and according to soil
     bulk density of the horizons.        including also the formula of         classification, and the average of
6.   Selection of groups of soil          the land mapping unit;                each soil property was calculated.
     profiles. At present, selection     reports with physical data for soil
     may be done using a listing of       horizons,     different    reports    More recently, a similar approach
     soil profiles given by the user.     referring to a more or less           was used to fulfil requirements of
     It is foreseen that such             complete selection of properties      the EU Soil Profile Analytical
     selection will also be done          (Table 1);                            Database. About a third of the
     automatically, using such           reports with physical data for        total number of profiles existing
     criteria as soil classification,     soil layers of pre-determined         in the PROFISOL database was
     soil texture, physiographic          depth, different reports being        selected for processing, classified
     region, depth of groundwater,        provided        for     different     according to the FAO/UNESCO
     etc.                                 methods of subdividing the            World Soil Map Legend and
7.   Statistical treatment of data        profile into layers;                  grouped by major soil groupings.
     for groups of soil profiles.                                               Subgroups had to be established
                                                                                to take into account the

                            EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU  RESEARCH REPORT NO. 4

significant differences between           some cases to soil units with                   parameters of each soil property
soil profiles within each major           specific soil horizons, and to land             and     each   subgroup    were
grouping.     This     subgrouping        use. The number of soil profiles                calculated using the facilities
referred to soil texture in the case      within each soil group, and the                 offered by the PROFISOL
of Fluvisols and Gleysols, to the         number of soil subgroups, are                   database.
depth of bedrock and of                   shown in Table 2. Subsequently,
groundwater when present, in              averages        and       statistical

Table 1: Physical and chemical properties of soil profile 006334

Location: Segarcea (Dolj)                     typical argilluvial chernozem

Coarse frag.             %W/W          0             0            0               0           0           0
Coarse sand              %W/W          0.3           0.6          0.6             0.5         0.6         0.5
Fine sand                %W/W          32.4          29.1         26.2            27.5        30.0        31.3
Silt                     &W/W          26.9          22.9         22.8            24.7        23.6        23.2
Clay                     %W/W          40.4          47.4         50.5            47.3        44.8        45.0
Phys.clay                &W/W          54.6          62.1         66.6            62.2        58.8        60.0
Bulk density             G/CM3         1.28          1.33         1.40            1.51        1.43        1.40
Total poros.             % V/V         51.6          49.8         47.3            43.6        46.5        48.1
Air porosity             % V/V         15.9          14.4         12.2            8.8         14.5        16.5              % V/V         0.0           5.5          11.1            17.2        11.0        8.1
Hygr.coeff.              % W/W         9.0           11.1         12.6            11.5        11.5        11.1
Wilting point            % W/W         13.5          16.6         18.6            17.2        17.5        16.6
Field capacity           % W/W         27.9          26.6         25.1            23.0        22.7        22.6
Tot.wat. Cap.            % W/W         40.3          37.4         33.8            28.8        32.5        34.4
Av.moist.cap.            % W/W         14.4          9.9          6.2             5.7         5.1         5.9
Water yield              % W/W         12.4          10.8         8.7             5.8         10.7        11.8
Hydr.conduc              MM/H          1.9           0.8          0.4             0.2         0.5         0.5
Humus                    % W/W         4.0           2.5          1.9             1.2         0.7         0.8
Total n                  % W/W         0.180         1.120        0.089           0.055       0.033       0.037
C/N                      -             15.0          1.5          14.4            14.6        14.1        14.6
CaCO3                    % W/W         0.0           0.0          0.0             0.0         0.0         8.2
pH in H2O                -             6.4           6.3          6.3             6.5         6.9         8.1
Exch.bases               ME/100 G      30.4          30.2         31.5            30.3        nd          27.6
Exch.Ca                  ME/100 G      24.8          24.1         24.8            24.0        nd          22.7
Exch.Mg                  ME/100 G      4.7           5.4          5.9             5.4         nd          4.0
Exch.K                   ME/100 G      0.6           0.5          0.6             0.6         nd          0.5
Exch.Na                  ME/100 G      0.3           0.2          0.3             0.3         nd          0.4
Exch.H                   ME/100 G      6.8           6.7          5.3             4.7         nd          nd
Horizon                  MEAS.            Ap           Am           A/B            Bt1        Bt2          Cc
Horiz.depth              UNIT             0-18         18-41        42-73          73-105     103-140      140-160
Sampl.depth                               0-18         20-30        50-60          80-90      110-120      145-155

                            EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU  RESEARCH REPORT NO. 4

Table 2:   Number of profiles with stored soil physical properties; selected from the PROFISOL database and
           classified according to the FAO/UNESCO World Soil Map Legend

            Major soil grouping                       Number of profiles          Number of
            Fluvisols                                        692                      72
            Gleysols                                          50                       7
            Regosols                                          16                       2
            Leptosols                                         20                       3
            Arenosols                                         72                       5
            Andosols                                          19                       2
            Vertisols                                         33                       4
            Cambisols                                         69                      17
            Solonetz                                          19                       4
            Solonchaks                                        7                        2
            Kastanozems                                       11                       1
            Chernozems                                       218                       9
            Phaeozems                                        277                      15
            Greyzems                                          16                       2
            Luvisols                                         166                      19
            Podzols                                           19                       3
            Histosols                                         2                        1
            Total                              1602                                        1

Conclusions                                                        4. PROFISOL has been used in various research
                                                                      projects, significantly contributing to a better
                                                                      knowledge and utilisation of Romanian soils and
1. The PROFISOL data-base is a complex tool,                          environment
   including site and soil morphological, physical and
   chemical characteristics, pedotransfer functions and            5. Future development of the PROFISOL database is
   various processing facilities in an integrated form.               envisaged which will include continuous storage of
                                                                      existing and new data; preparation of a simplified
2. At present PROFISOL includes a large number of                     version for current use; complete transfer to the PC
   soil profile characteristics for most agricultural and             platform; addition of new and improved
   non-agricultural areas of Romania, especially                      pedotransfer functions; new processing procedures;
   physical soil properties.                                          extension to other kinds of data such as trace
                                                                      elements,    clay     mineralogy,    micro-biology;
3. The complex software that was developed for                        introduction of compatibility with various
   PROFISOL achieved a good balance between                           simulation models, expert systems,          decision
   software modularity, data structure and efficiency.                support systems and with the Romanian soil
   It proved to be well adjusted to processing large                  geographic information system.
   amounts of complex and often asynchronous data.

                          EUROPEAN SOIL BUREAU  RESEARCH REPORT NO. 4

CANARACHE, A. (1986). Improved procedure for             MADSEN, H. Breuning. and JONES, R. J. A. (1995).
   estimation of field capacity (in Romanian). Stiinta      Soil profile analytical database for European
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CANARACHE, A. (1987). Improved procedure for             NORR, A. (ed.) (1989). Computerized land evaluation
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                                                            in simulation models for the soil water dynamics
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   A. (1981). Physical characterization of soil using       Technical report, Research Institute of Soil
   computer storage and processing of data. In:             Science and Agrochemistry, Bucharest, 13 pp.
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                                                         VLAD, V., TARHOACA, E., POPA, D., ALBU, V.,
ICPA (1987). Soil survey methodology (in Romanian).         IANCU R., BALUTA, M., TAPALAGA, M.,
    Research Institute for Soil Science and                 CANARACHE, A., MUNTEANU, I., FLOREA,
    Agrochemistry. Method, Reports, Guidebooks,             N., RASNOVEANU, A., VLAD, L. and NACHE,
    No.20, 3 vol., 766 pp.                                  M. (1996). Software system for the PROFISOL
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   Japan, August 1990, 5: 248-25.


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