The Unified North American Soil Map and Its Implication on the Soil Organic Carbon Stock in North America

Monday, 15 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Yaxing Wei1, Shishi Liu2, Deborah N Huntzinger3, Anna M Michalak4, Wilfred M Post1, Robert B Cook1, Kevin M Schaefer5 and Michele Thornton1, (1)Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States, (2)Huazhong Agricultural University, College of Resources and Environment, Wuhan, China, (3)Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, United States, (4)Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC, United States, (5)University of Colorado, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO, United States
The Unified North American Soil Map (UNASM) was developed by Multi-scale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP) to provide more accurate regional soil information for terrestrial biosphere modeling. The UNASM combines information from state-of-the-art US STATSGO2 and Soil Landscape of Canada (SLCs) databases. The area not covered by these datasets is filled by using the Harmonized World Soil Database version 1.21 (HWSD1.21). The UNASM contains maximum soil depth derived from the data source as well as seven soil attributes (including sand, silt, and clay content, gravel content, organic carbon content, pH, and bulk density) for the topsoil layer (0–30 cm) and the subsoil layer (30–100 cm), respectively, of the spatial resolution of 0.25 degrees in latitude and longitude. There are pronounced differences in the spatial distributions of soil properties and soil organic carbon between UNASM and HWSD, but the UNASM overall provides more detailed and higher-quality information particularly in Alaska and central Canada. To provide more accurate and up-to-date estimate of soil organic carbon stock in North America, we incorporated Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD) into the UNASM. The estimate of total soil organic carbon mass in the upper 100 cm soil profile based on the improved UNASM is 365.96 Pg, of which 23.1% is under trees, 14.1% is in shrubland, and 4.6% is in grassland and cropland. This UNASM data has been provided as a resource for use in terrestrial ecosystem modeling of MsTMIP both for input of soil characteristics and for benchmarking model output.