Fundamental Soil Layers

Maps of Fundamental Soil Layers

Maps show a range of soil attributes derived from the dominant soils depicted in the 1:50 000 scale NZ Fundamental Soil Layers

Interpreting the maps

Most of the maps show the most likely (i.e. modal) value from the classed soil attribute data. Even within small areas of the same soil, soil attributes can be very variable. You can click on a soil area to see our estimate of the range of values that might be expected for each soil. Since it is quite impractical to measure soil attributes for all soils, we also provide a guide to the technique we used to derive our estimate. These range from 'measured', indicating the the mapped soil has been measured, to 'general inference', indicating the soil measured was generally similar to the mapped soil, but we have no actual measurements to support the inference.

New Zealand Soil Classification

View mapView a map of all of the soils of New Zealand classified according to the New Zealand Soil Classification (NZSC).


Soil Attribute Maps

Soil Chemical attributes

Coarse scale soil maps of minimum pH, maximum salinity, cation exchange capacity, total carbon, phosphate retention.

Soil Physical Characteristics

Coarse scale soil maps of topsoil gravel content, rock outcrops and surface boulders, and particle size.

Soil Drainage Parameters

Coarse scale soil maps of potential rooting depth, depth to a slowly permeable horizon, internal soil drainage, and soil permeability.

Soil Environment Parameters

Coarse scale soil maps of flood return interval and soil temperature regime (0.3 m depth).

Soil Moisture Properties

Coarse scale soil maps of profile total available water, profile readily available water, macroporosity 0–0.6 m depth and macroporosity 0.6–0.9 m depth.


Fundamental Soil Layers references