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World Reference Base

Dominant soils of the world

The World Reference Base (WRB) is the international standard for soil classification system endorsed by the International Union of Soil Sciences. It was developed by an international collaboration coordinated by the IUSS Working Group. It replaced the FAO/UNESCO Legend for the Soil Map of the World as international standard. The WRB borrows heavily from modern soil classification concepts, including Soil Taxonomy, the legend for the FAO Soil Map of the World 1988, the Référentiel Pédologique and Russian concepts. As far as possible, diagnostic criteria match those of existing systems, so that correlation with national and previous international systems is as straightforward as possible. 

The distribution and sample pictures of the Reference Soil Groups are based on work carried out by FAO, ISRIC World Soils and the Universities of Leuven and Wageningen University.

World reference base for soil resources,  1998

also available in French, Italian, Japanese,  Lithuanian,  Rumanian,  Vietnamese

World reference base for soil resources,  2006

also available in Arabic, German, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Turkish

NEW ! World reference base for soil resources,  2014