Generalized Soil Map of Europe; aggregation of the FAO-Unesco soil units based on the characteristics determining the vulnerability to degradation processes
The FAO-Unesco soil units of Europe have been aggregated into categories of soils with similar soil characteristics (soil depth, stoniness, texture, acidity, etc.) which are of importance to the vulnerability of the soil to major degradation processes.
The major soil degradation processes in Europe are water and wind erosion, compaction, acidification and pollution of groundwater and ecosystems. The resulting 11 categories have been clustered into four sets according to their similar behaviour in response to soil degradation processes. It is estimated that about 15% of the soils are highly vulnerable to all major degradation processes and 30% highly vulnerable to 3 of the 4 degradation processes.