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1 October 2011 A history of soil classification and soil survey in Canada: Personal perspectives
Darwin W. Anderson, C. A. Scott Smith
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Anderson, D. W. and Smith, C. A. S. 2011. A history of soil classification and soil survey in Canada: Personal perspectives. Can. J. Soil Sci. 91: 675-694. This paper presents an overview of soil classification and soil survey in Canada based on both historical documentation and the personal experiences and perspectives of the two authors. The first soil surveys in Canada beginning in Ontario in 1914 are described along with the earliest systems of soil classification. The roots of the current system of soil classification in Canada can be traced back to the establishment of the first meeting of the National Soil Survey Committee (later the Canada Soil Survey Committee) held in Ottawa in 1945. The Committee met every 2 to 3 years and a hard-cover “first” edition, “The Canadian System of Soil Classification” was published in 1978 and a slightly revised second edition in 1987. The third edition (1998) includes a more complete key and a tenth order, the Vertisolic Order. The four to five decades starting in the late 1940s were the glory years for soil survey in Canada, with well-funded and productive programs in all provinces and territories, with major outputs like the Canada Land Inventory. The period between mid 1990s and 2010 saw declining activity in new field survey and reductions in staff levels by government agencies, but a rise in private sector soil survey, largely for environmental assessment purposes. There is a renewed and on-going interest in and need for soil information. The challenge for pedologists is to provide reliable information in innovative and proactive ways.

Darwin W. Anderson and C. A. Scott Smith "A history of soil classification and soil survey in Canada: Personal perspectives," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 91(5), 675-694, (1 October 2011).
Received: 23 May 2010; Accepted: 1 February 2011; Published: 1 October 2011

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Canada Soil Survey Committee
Canadian System of Soil Classification
Comité canadien de pédologie
National Soil Survey Committee
National Soil Survey Committee
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