The New Zealand Fundamental Soil Layer originates from a relational join of features from two databases: the New Zealand Land Resource Inventory (NZLRI), and the National Soils Database (NSD). The NZLRI is a national polygon database of physical land resource information, including a soil unit. Soil is one in an inventory of five physical factors (including rock, slope, erosion, and vegetation) delineated by physiographic polygons at approximately 1:50,000 scale. The NSD is a point database of soil physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics for over 1500 soil profiles nationally. A relational join between the NZLRI dominant soil and derivative tables from the NSD was the means by which 14 important soil attributes were attached to the NZLRI polygons. Some if these attributes originate from exact matches with NSD records, while others derive from matches to similar soils or professional estimates. This layer contains potential rooting depth attributes. Potential rooting depth describes the minimum and maximum depths (in metres) to a layer that may impede root extension. Such a layer may be defined by penetration resistance, poor aeration or very low available water capacity. These classes are described more fully in Webb and Wilson (1995).
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