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EU Soil Observatory - soil monitoring in EU

Integrated soil monitoring is a key element of the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO).

The effectiveness of different policies on soil condition can only be assessed by monitoring changes in indicators that capture the supply of soil functions or the broad range of pressures that disrupt these functions.

Data on such changes can be assessed by traditional field survey (such as the LUCAS Soil Programme). Those traditional methods are increasingly complemented by modern measuring techniques (e.g. proximal sensing) and novel data processing tools (e.g. big data, geostatistics).

Closer integration of pan-European monitoring instruments

In this context, the EUSO will establish a closer integration between existing pan-European monitoring instruments (e.g. the LUCAS Soil Module) and national programmes in EU countries to improve the population of performance indicators.

The new monitoring system will also integrate other data flows, such as

  • remote sensing systems of the Copernicus Programme,
  • citizen science,
  • crowd sourced initiatives,
  • outcomes from living labs,
  • lighthouse projects that are being established across the EU.

Further information and access to LUCAS Soil data are available on the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC).