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The Soils of Southern South Australia

SSSAThe Soils of Southern South Australia (by James Hall, David Maschmedt and Bruce Billing)

This new 446 page, full-colour, South Australian Dept of Water, Land & Biodiversity Conservation (DWLBC) publication describes the soil resources of SA’s productive and diverse temperate zone (commonly known as the ‘agricultural areas’), summarising concepts and data specifically relating to soil type. In particular, the nature, diversity, distribution, limitations and potential of these resources are described. The book is part-documentation of the knowledge and information developed via the SA Land & Soil Mapping Program—which has been underway since the 1980s.

Soils are organised into 15 Soil Groups and 61 subgroup soils based on features of most importance to land use and management. There are 15 chapters in the main part of the book—one for each Soil Group—which include maps, data, images and standardised 2-page presentations of constituent subgroup soils (highlighting, for example, drainage, waterholding capacity, erodibility and potential for irrigation).

The book also includes:

  • An extensive introduction explaining many major soil characteristics and soil formation processes, with particular emphasis on those of most importance to land use and management in SA
  • Nine A3-size overview maps—showing for example, biophysical regions, rainfall, watercourses, hills and ranges, agricultural districts, and towns and localities
  • A comprehensive glossary and soil key, as well as other appendices describing soil correlation, soil forming materials (geology of parent materials), and criteria used to determine classifications for a range of land and soil attributes
  • A comprehensive index
  • High quality images of soil profiles, associated landscapes and geological materials (soil parent materials).

The book is designed to benefit the community and the environment—via an increase in knowledge and understanding of soil in the landscape, and via improved natural resource management decision-making. The primary target audience is the natural resource management community.

The book retails for $99 (plus postage), and can be obtained from the PIRSA Customer Service Centre (Ph 08 8463 3000; Email

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