wpe2.jpg (3529 bytes)

                    COST 622 ACTION

                  Soil Resources of European Volcanic Systems


Soil sampling strategy and analysis on reference European
volcanic soils


Report of the first four WG5 meetings in:

Italy (Naples, 19 – 22/11.1998)
Portugal (Azores, 28/04 – 2/05, 1999)
Iceland (Reykjavik, Gunnarsholt, 25-29/08, 1999)
Spain (Tenerife, 9 – 13/02, 2000)

List of permanent WG5 participants :


ball45.gif (326 bytes)Angelo Basile (WG2),

ball45.gif (326 bytes)Fabio Terribile (WG2), member management committee

The Netherlands

ball45.gif (326 bytes)Toine Jongmans (WG1), member management committee


ball45.gif (326 bytes)Martine Gérard (WG1)

ball45.gif (326 bytes)François Bartoli (WG2), Chief management committee

ball45.gif (326 bytes)Folkert van Oort (WG2), coordinator of WG5



During the second management committee (MC) meeting in Iceland (July, 1998) the decision was made to create a specialized Working Group (WG5) in order to perform representative sampling of European reference volcanic soil profiles. The objectives were to develop a common sampling strategy, to standardize sampling procedures and analytical techniques for the study of volcanic soils. In a first time 4 European sites were selected (Vesuvio & Vico area in Italy, Faial and Pico islands of the Azores, Iceland and Tenerife of the Canarian islands).

The local MC delegates were responsible for the selection of reference soils, in agreement with WG1. The reference soils had to fit in the framework of the Andisol concept and preferentially make part of (well-known) chrono-climo sequences. In the different climatic zones, similar soils (natural and strongly influenced by human activities) were sampled. If possible, both young and old volcanic soils were selected.

Sampling program

For the sampling of these 4 climatic zones, WG5 was composed of 6 members carrying out the sampling program decided in Iceland in order to increase the homogeneity of soil description and soil sampling procedures. The members of WG5 were mainly coming from WG1 (for aspects of soil genesis and classification) and WG2 (for specific needs of soil samples and conditioning). In each country, the sampling program was discussed and realized in close collaboration with the local Cost 622 members.

In the period between November 1998 and February 2000, 12 soil profiles were sampled : 4 in Italy, Two in the Azores, 3 in Iceland and 3 in the Canary islands.

Bulksamples of all sampled horizons were send to and stored at the department of Soil Science & Geology of the Wageningen Agricultural University (The Netherlands) who will redistribute subsamples to the European laboratories on request. Members of the WG5 ensured their own specific sampling (e.g. samples for thin sections, for physical properties, etc).

Soil profile descriptions of the selected volcanic soils were performed according to FAO guidelines for profile description (FAO, 1990).


WG continuity

Following the meeting in Tenerife (February 2000), the management committee decide to continue for two more years the sampling program of WG5, concerning soils of the Massif Central in France and possibly in Greece. Unfortunately, for pure technocratic reasons, this ongoing sampling program will be lacking major field experience of domain of soil description by Toine Jongmans. Indeed, the direction of the Soil Science Department of the Agricultural University (now called University for Environmental Sciences) did/ or could no longer provide European expertise for these kind of joint research programs, since non conform with their today's priority research items.

Although I am fully aware of a general increase of constraints, most often for economical reasons, governing research strategies, it is my personal opinion that we have to strive with energy to preserve at least some liberty with respect to domains of personal scientific interest. In particular if these scientific activities take only a few days per year, and, what more is, partially in free-time, in the weekends, the cost are funded by the EC, and if it is an opportunity to valorize, on a European scale, previous scientific work.



The sampling activities of WG5 in the four climatic zones were enabled by intensive and enthousiastic preparative work by the local members of Cost 622 action. I would like to thank very much, in a chronological order:

  • Luigi Lulli, Fabio Terribile, and Angelo Basile for the Naples meeting
  • Jorge Pinheiro and Manuel Madeira for the Azores meeting
  • Olafur Arnalds, Hlynur Oskarsson and Dagny Einarsdottir for the Iceland Meeting
  • Marissa Tejedor Salguero et José Hernandez-Moreno for the Tenerife meeting

I also want to address special thanks to François Bartoli, for his motivating and enthousiastic overall management of the Cost 622 Action.

I apologize for all the anonymous people that were also involved in preparation of the working meetings or for any other person and that I may have forgotten……


Last modified 11 March 2003 by IAK