Distribution of soil organic carbon in the conterminous United States

By: , and 
Edited by: Alfred E. Hartemink and Kevin M. McSweeney



The U.S. Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database provides detailed soil mapping for most of the conterminous United States (CONUS). These data have been used to formulate estimates of soil carbon stocks, and have been useful for environmental models, including plant productivity models, hydrologic models, and ecological models for studies of greenhouse gas exchange. The data were compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) from 1:24,000-scale or 1:12,000-scale maps. It was found that the total soil organic carbon stock in CONUS to 1 m depth is 57 Pg C and for the total profile is 73 Pg C, as estimated from SSURGO with data gaps filled from the 1:250,000-scale Digital General Soil Map. We explore the non-linear distribution of soil carbon on the landscape and with depth in the soil, and the implications for sampling strategies that result from the observed soil carbon variability.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Distribution of soil organic carbon in the conterminous United States
ISBN 978-3-319-04083-7
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-04084-4_9
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer International Publishing
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description p. 85-93
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Soil Carbon
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