Welcome to the website of the Laboratory of Soil Science
Soils are a main determinant of ecosystems and as such are an essential cornerstone of human life and prosperity. Increasing population pressure and severe erosion, pollution and desertification issues are threatening this rather scarce commodity, resulting in competition between agricultural and industrial purposes, urban planning and nature conservation.
The multifunctional character of soils and the actual public attention paid to environmental quality, reinforce the demand for field, map, and laboratory data in order to fully characterize soils, soil materials and sediments.Interpretation of these analyses within the frame of engineering purposes and environmental quality issues, requires in-depth knowledge of the analysis and dynamics of clays, as well as of soil development, evolution and soil processes under natural conditions or following human interference.
The Laboratory of Soil Science is well known home and abroad as a dynamic reseach group with an important expertise in scientific disciplines such as soil genesis, clay mineralogy, soil mapping, soil classification, soil morphology, properties and management of tropical soils, and land evaluation. It also has a long tradition in international cooperation and services.
The Laboratory belongs to the pioneers in the realisation of soil surveys and the interpretation of these datasets for different land uses. During the last few years it developed into a development centre for crop growth modelling, soil information systems and a gathering and distribution centre of detailed topographical and soil maps of regions in and outside Belgium.
Industrial companies, other university research groups, and government institutions contact the laboratory for innovating research, especially within the field of clay mineralogy, and for our expertise in soil and water analysis.
Photo of an Albic Placic Podzol taken by Erika Micheli, Szent István University, Hungary