What is it?

What do I see on my screen?

Available water capacity is the amount water a soil can provide for plants and so is a useful indicator of the ability of soils to grow crops. The available water capacity is derived from a number of different soil properties.

Map legend

The available water capacity is shown in the following categories:

less than 100 mm less than 100 mm
between 100 and 150 mm between 100 and 150 mm
more than 150 to 200 mm more than 150 to 200 mm
more than 200 to 250 mm more than 200 to 250 mm
more than 250 to 300 mm more than 250 to 300 mm
more than 300 to 375 mm more than 300 to 375 mm
greater than 375 mm greater than 375 mm

Low values are indicative of a water deficiency, high values indicate a potential water excess and poor vertical drainage.

What is included in the digital dataset?

The available water capacity gives information on available water for plant growth. It is calculated from other soil properties and is the amount of water found in the top 1 m of soil after any excess has drained away (known as the field capacity) and the permanent wilting point (when there is not enough water in the soil to support plant growth/life).

How was the map / dataset created?

The available water capacity map is based on the 1:250 000 soil map and calculated using data from the Scottish Soils Knowledge and Information Base (SSKIB). The available water capacity of each soil type within a soil map unit was determined taking into account whether the soil was cultivated or not. Due to a limited amount of measured data for all soils, the water content (mm) was calculated from other soil properties such as texture and organic matter content.  This map should be cited as: 'Lilly, A., Baggaley, N. & Donnelly, D. (2012). Map of available water capacity of soils in Scotland. Map prepared for EU project GS-SOIL - Assessment and strategic development of INSPIRE compliant Geodata-Services for European Soil Data. ECP-2008-GEO-31800'.

How is it updated?

No updates to date

 

Using the map

What can I do?

You can click on the map, or insert a grid reference or post code, to find out the available water capacity of the soil. You can also download the map data. The map covers the entire country and can be used to view regional differences in available water capacity.

Be aware: This map is produced at a fixed scale; zooming-in does not change the resolution of the map.

 

Technical and reference material


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