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Global Soil Types, 1-Degree Grid (Zobler)


A global data set of soil types is available at 1-degree latitude by 1-degree longitude resolution. Soil types are described at two levels of detail, including 106 types based on Zobler's assessment of FAO Soil Units (Zobler, 1986) and an aggregated list of 27 types at the Great Group level. These data represent a subset of Zobler's World File for Global Climate Modeling (Zobler, 1986) and were compiled as part of an effort to improve modeling of the hydrologic cycle portion of global climate models. A more extensive version of these data, including soil surface texture, surface slope, and other phase information, is available from NCAR, Scientific Computing Division, Data Support Section: "Staub and Rosenzweig's GISS Soil & Sfc Slope, 1-Deg" []. A modified version of these data is also available as "Staub and Rosenzweig Zobler Soil Type, Soil Texture, Surface Slope, and Other Properties" from

The soil type data in this data set are provided in three formats: the original ASCII format, GRID ASCII, and ARC/INFO EXPORT (*.e00). The GIS format information and other descriptive information is contained in the companion readme files [ and]. A help file prepared by Matthews and Fung (1987) ( [] provides formatting information for the original ASCII data file.

Soil Types

Image of 26 soil types available at 1-degree by 1-degree resolution.

Additional documentation from Zobler's assessment of FAO soil units is available from the NASA Center for Scientific Information.

Data Citation

Cite this data set as follows (citation revised on April 5, 2002):

Zobler, L. 1999. Global Soil Types, 1-Degree Grid (Zobler). Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/418.


Matthews, E., and I. Fung. 1987. Methane emission from natural wetlands: Global distribution, area and environmental characteristics of sources. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 1: 61-86.

Staub, B., and C. Rosenzweig. 1987. Global digital data sets of soil type, soil texture, surface slope, and other properties, NASA Technical Memorandum 100685.

Zobler, L. 1986. A World Soil File for Global Climate Modelling. NASA Technical Memorandum 87802. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Document Information:

May 12, 2000 (Note: Citation revised on June 26, 2002)

Document Review Date:

May 12, 2000

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