Database Structure

Proposed list of the IRSDB database entry fields

(after Becker-Heidmann 1996):

The field names were designed to be compatible with the proposed International Radiocarbon Data Base (IRDB) (Kra 1986: Walker & Kra 1988). Data that are essential for assessing carbon turnover and, therefore, global change calculations, are marked accordingly; those that might overload the database, are marked with a question mark (?). All other fields were recognized as generally useful and should be added to the database if available.

General

  • Labcode and no. (essential)
  • Single sample or sample set (profile or catena, set no.) (essential)
  • Submitter (name and address) (essential)
  • Collector (name and address) (essential)
  • Date of sampling (essential)
  • Date of measurement (essential)
  • Sampling location (longitude, latitude) (essential)
  • Pretreatment for dating (essential)
  • Type of soil fraction(s) or other material used for dating (essential)

Results

  • 14C result (pM ± error (as defined by Stuiver and Polach 1977); raw data) (essential)
  • δ13C (essential)
  • Possible contamination (essential)
  • Submitter’s comment (essential)
  • Lab’s comment (essential)

Context

  • Literature references (essential)
  • Original field of study
  • Quality control figure (?)

Environmental data

  • Country
  • Site description
  • Parent material, time of deposition
  • Topography (landform ?)
  • Ecosystem type and climatic conditions (mean temperature and annual rainfall) (possible values see below)
  • Vegetation (actual, history and potential)
  • Land use

Profile-related data

  • Soil order and type (both FAO and local classification) (essential) (possible values see below)
  • Profile description (data related to carbon turnover and migration)
    • Humus form
    • Rooting pattern
    • Stratigraphy
    • Physical barriers to water penetration
  • Reference to Soil Conservation Service file

Sample-related data

  • Sampling depth intervall, depth and horizon (essential)
  • Method of sampling
  • Bulk density (essential)
  • Soil color (wet, moist, dry) (?)
  • Particle size distribution (<2 mm, >2 mm) (at least texture) (essential)
  • Clay type
  • pH (and method) (essential)
  • Eh
  • CEC (?)
  • C content (organic and inorganic) (essential)
  • Corg/N ratio
  • Lignin content (?)
  • Phosphorus (and method) (?)
  • Microbial biomass (?)
  • Data on other isotopes (heavy, stable) (?)

Possible values of certain data fields

Ecosystem type and climatic conditions

  • Boreal forest
  • Tundra and alpine meadow
  • Temperate evergreen forest
  • Temperate deciduous forest
  • Temperate woodland
  • Temperate grassland
  • Tropical moist forest
  • Tropical seasonal forest
  • Tropical woodland
  • Tropical grassland
  • Swamps and marshes
  • Desert

Soil order and type

A. Major Soil Groupings of FAO System (Driessen and Dudal 1989, meanwhile outdated):

  • Histosols
  • Anthrosols
  • Andosols
  • Arenosols
  • Vertisols
  • Fluvisols
  • Gleysols
  • Leptosols
  • Regosols
  • Cambisols
  • Plinthosols
  • Ferralsols
  • Nitisols
  • Acrisols
  • Alisols
  • Lixisols
  • Solonchaks
  • Solonetz
  • Gypsisols
  • Calcisols
  • Kastanozems
  • Chernozems
  • Phaeozems
  • Greyzems
  • Luvisols
  • Podzoluvisols
  • Planosols
  • Podzols

B. Orders of Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff 1994, meanwhile outdated):

  • Alfisols
  • Andisols
  • Aridisols
  • Entisols
  • Histosols
  • Inceptisols
  • Mollisols
  • Oxisols
  • Spodosols
  • Ultisols
  • Vertisols

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