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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.01 Soil Associations (Edition 1998)

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Soil Associations / Collective Soil Associations / Concept Soil Associations

The near-natural and anthric soil associations defined for West Berlin by Grenzius were transposed onto East Berlin with the aid of existing data bases, and analogical conclusions for comparable areas, such as geomorphology, use, water conditions, etc.. Problems occurred in areas where existing data bases did not enable clear classifications of soil associations based on analogical conclusions, or where combinations of uses and geomorphology appeared that were not considered or did not exist in West Berlin. Examples of these areas are plots once used for sewage farms, sinks in flat upland areas, and mapped podzolic soils of end morraines. Besides the soil associations applied in the Soil Association Map of West Berlin, the availability of appropriate mapping will be used to develop new soil associations. If there is insufficient information, then concept soil associations as well as collective soil associations will be developed. The soil associations used in the map have three different levels of differentiation and characterization:

  1. Soil Associations (SA) - Soil associations in dependence on geomorphology and use. These can be verified by field studies in the form of detail maps, key profiles, and soil profile studies.
  2. Collective Soil Associations (CSA) - These soil associations are collected because insufficient data material for East Berlin does not allow a differentiated categorization of individual soil associations.
  3. Concept Soil Associations - are soil associations which do not exist or which have not yet been verified in West Berlin. They are a combination of use and geomorphology, such as levelled sewage farms. They have not yet been verified by soil studies.

Fig. 1: Classification of Soil Associations, Schematic Depiction of Procedure

Categorization of Soil Associations

The categorization of soil associations occurs in several processing steps:

  1. The actual use of a given area was found in the land use file. Each type of use category has a special model pattern for categorization of soil associations (cf. Fig. 1).
  2. Areas were defined as having mainly naturally developed soils or highly anthric soils (cf. Tab. 5). Land use and degree of sealing were used as criteria for the extent of anthropogenic alterations of soils. Other factors of determination were existing data material such as geological maps, cadastre of old contaminated sites, topographical maps of various ages, building damage maps, etc.
  3. Areas with hardly altered soils had no aggradations or erosion, and a degree of sealing of < 30%, or a degree of sealing of < 25% at new, large area construction areas. Soil associations here were categorized into near-natural soils according to the classification pattern in Table 6.
  4. Areas with a degree of sealing of > 30%, or > 25% at large-area new constructions, were classified as highly anthric soil associations, depending on the type of use and the type of construction (cf. Tab. 5).

Tab. 5: Classification Guidelines for Soil Associations, in Dependence on Use Category and Degree of Sealing

[Table is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

The classification rules given in the figures and tables are to be seen as general rules. The precise classification of soil associations is frequently not possible due to lack of information about current land use or the degree of sealing. This means numerous special decisions have to be made for individual cases. The classification of soil associations in residential areas considered the construction type; the historical land use was also significant. Residential settlements on locations previously used by industry were evaluated as industrial areas, e.g., the Thälmannpark residential unit. The evaluation of waste disposal sites, military locations, sewage farms, and other landfills and aggradations was made based on information such as maps, the Cadastre of Old Contaminated Sites, aerial photography, and expert opinions, etc..

The determination of near-natural soil associations was made according to the procedure depicted in Table 6, if great anthropogenic soil alterations could be ruled out.

Table 6 - Dummy
[Approx. 19 KB size.]

Tab. 6: Classification of Soil Associations of Natural Lithogenesis
(after Aey 1991)

[Table is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

Typical landscape segments with characteristic soil types, key profiles and the most important ecological properties exist for almost all soil associations.

Portrayal in the Map

The portrayal in the map gathered soil associations, concept soil associations, and collective soil associations into groups of uniform color. Geomorphic uniformity was decisive for the formation of near-natural soil association groups. Land use was decisive for the formation of anthric soil association groups. The color presentation of soil associations is oriented on the system of soil science mapping guidelines for soil types (Bodenkundliche Kartieranleitung). The color scheme was developed for soil types, but is used in the map for soil associations which are composed of several soil types with various properties. This meant a color scheme had to be developed which sometimes deviates from the model. This was done for the sake of a clear overview and readability.

The map at hand has a scale of 1 : 50,000 and is an overview map used by public planning agencies in determining goals and measures. Detailed statements about individual lots are not possible, for those kinds of statements require project-orientated detail maps.

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