Soil names

The Alberta Soil Names File (Generation 4) User’s Handbook reflects the need for consistent characterization of soil types and the establishment of limits to the geographical distribution of each soil type name (soil name) within Alberta.

The Generation 4 version of the User’s Handbook replaces the 2006 (Generation 3) edition. Updates include incorporating new soil names created since the release of the 2006 edition and modifications to some soil correlation areas boundaries.

Soil Correlation Area map

The Soil Correlation Area (SCA) Map of Alberta (PDF, 1.5 MB) illustrates the boundaries that define the geographic distribution of the soil names associated with each SCA.

Other SCA resources

Land suitability

The Land Suitability Rating System (LSRS) reference tool offers guidance for using the LSRS computer program. It describes the processes followed for developing the system and offers guidance for interpreting an LSRS rating.

Soil quality

In the late 1980s, questions concerning trends in soil quality and means of measuring those trends, if detectable, arose in response to the issue of sustainable agriculture.

To address this, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada established the Soil Quality Benchmark Site Study as part of the 1990 Soil Quality Evaluation Program.

By 1992, a network of 23 benchmark-monitoring sites across Canada were established, including 4 in Alberta. Monitoring various land, soil and air characteristics for at least 10 years. Funding for the study ended following the 10-year resampling of the sites in 2002/2003.

Benchmark reports

View benchmark documentation for Alberta sites:

Comparative reports

The following comparative reports include the results of re-sampling 5 and 10 years following site establishment:

A 5-year comparison – Poster presentation to Canadian Soil Science Society Annual Meeting (2002), Banff, Alberta:

A 10-year comparison – Oral presentation to Canadian Soil Science Society Annual Meeting (2005), Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Alberta landforms

The Alberta Landforms report presents background information on the landform classification system used within the Agricultural Regions of Alberta Soil Inventory Database (AGRASID). The report highlights quantitative morphological descriptions and landform classifications for typical glaciated landforms in western Canada. It also documents the methods used to produce the descriptions.

Land resource atlas

The Agricultural Land Resource Atlas of Alberta is a collection of agricultural resource maps developed as part of the Environmental Scan for Agriculture in Alberta by the Alberta Environmental Scan Technical Team in 2003.

The maps in the atlas were prepared for the environmental scan process (PDF, 39.0 MB) or because of their potential value to Alberta’s agricultural community in the development environmental farm plans use as a resource of environmental information on a broad scale.