The aim of the IRSDB was to become a central shelter for all radiocarbon data gained on soil samples or soil profiles worldwide. These data are useful not only for soil science, but also for climate research and archaeology.
Researchers from different disciplines as well as dating laboratories were contributing the data.


This website is the first approach to put the database into effect. The philosophy behind this is to use only open source software, build the database as a community project, and make all data available for “open access”.


The database and its user interface are embedded in a popular blog-system to minimize any programming effort.

The Logo symbolizes a typical soil profile with vegetation cover and A-B-C horizons with scale below a blue sky.  The blue scintillating line shows the decay curve of 14C.


The idea of setting up the IRSDB originates from the 1990th, where a strong demand on 14C data of soils for climate modelling arose. On June 5-7, 1992 a NASA-sponsored workshop was held in Tucson to discuss and plan the structure and installation of the IRSDB. The structure was defined, but the implementation failed at that time because of lacking funds. At the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference in 2009, Peter Becker-Heidmann presented the approach of using Web 2.0 technology to bring the IRSDB to life. Beginning in 2018, a concurrent approach led to the construction of the International Soil Radiocarbon Database (ISRaD) by a group of colleagues around Susan Trumbore. In 2022, IRSDB was terminated in favour of and to strengthen ISRaD.