Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



K.D. Shepherd et al. Soil Security 7 (2022) 100061.


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license


There is growing global interest in the potential for soil reflectance spectroscopy to fill an urgent need for more data on soil properties for improved decision-making on soil security at local to global scales. This is driven by the capability of soil spectroscopy to estimate a wide range of soil properties from a rapid, inexpensive, and highly reproducible measurement using only light. However, several obstacles are preventing wider adoption of soil spectroscopy. The biggest obstacles are the large variation in the soil analytical methods and operating procedures used in different laboratories, poor reproducibility of analyses within and amongst laboratories and a lack of soil physical archives. In addition, adoption is hindered by the expense and complexity of building soil spectral libraries and calibration models. The Global Soil Spectral Calibration Library and Estimation Service is proposed to overcome these obstacles by providing a freely available estimation service based on an open, high quality and diverse spectral calibration library and the extensive soil archives of the Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL) of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The initiative is supported by the Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) of the Global Soil Partnership and the Soil Spectroscopy for Global Good network, which provide additional support through dissemination of standards, capacity development and research. This service is a global public good which stands to benefit soil assessments globally, but especially developing countries where soil data and resources for conventional soil analyses are most limited.