Input data set: Soil input data

Protocol relation: Protocol
Data Type: Other
Simulation rounds: ISIMIP3b, ISIMIP3a

Two soil data sets are provided. The first provides an upscaled map of soil textures that is based on the HSWD 1.1 soil data and was already used in ISIMIP2a. The second, newer one, is provided by the AgMIP project and gives the properties of a grid cell's dominant soil texture as well the properties of the soil predominantly occurring on crop lands.


The first data set provides an upscaled map of soil textures and was already used in ISIMIP2a. It is based on HSWP 1.1 (Nachtergaele et al. 2009) and has been upscaled to the ISIMIP 0.5°×0.5° grid by means of the GSWP3 upscaling method A (Koirala 2013). The data sits in the file and the variable "soiltexture" is provided.

The second, newer data set, was provided by C. Müller of the "Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison" Phase 3 project ( It updates the data set foundation to HSWD 1.2 (Nachtergaele et al. 2012) and provides, besides an extensive description in ggcmi_phase3_soil_input.pdf, two data files: and

Both files give the properties USDA soil texture class dominant HWSD on cropland ("texture_class"), dominant HWSD soil mapping unit within dominant USDA soil texture class on cropland ("mu_global"), topsoil pH("H2O") ("soil_ph"), topsoil calcium carbonate ("soil_caco3"), topsoil bulk density ("bulk_density"), topsoil cation exchange capacity ("soil") ("cec_soil"), topsoil organic carbon ("oc"), depth of obstacles to roots ("esdb") ("root_obstacles"), depth of impermeable layer ("esdb") ("impermeable_layer"), available water content ("awc"), topsoil sand fraction ("sand"), topsoil silt fraction ("silt"), topsoil clay fraction ("clay"), topsoil gravel content ("gravel"), topsoil salinity ("ece"), topsoil base saturation ("bs_soil") and a flag for valid soils ("issoil").

One file,, gives the properties of the dominant soil type within a grid cell and is therefore suitable for all sectors. The other file provides the soil type predominantly occurring in a grid cell's cropland and therefore should be used by modellers investigating crop growth in the agriculture sector.

Data source

This data set is derived from:

Freddy Nachtergaele, Harrij van Velthuizen, Luc Verelst (2009): Harmonized World Soil Database (HSWP). Version 1.1. →

Freddy Nachtergaele, Harrij van Velthuizen, Luc Verelst, David Wiberg (2012): Harmonized World Soil Database (HSWP). Version 1.2. →

Sujan Koirala (2013): Soil Texture Map, retrieved 4/29/2021 →

Stefan Lange, Matthias Büchner (2020): ISIMIP3 land-sea masks. ISIMIP Repository.

Portmann, F. T., Siebert, S., and Döll, P. (2010), MIRCA2000—Global monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000: A new high‐resolution data set for agricultural and hydrological modeling, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 24, GB1011.

Download Instructions

For ISIMIP participants, these files are available for download at DKRZ using these paths:
- /work/bb0820/ISIMIP/ISIMIP3a/InputData/geo_conditions/soil
- /work/bb0820/ISIMIP/ISIMIP3b/InputData/geo_conditions/soil

For external users, these data are available on the ISIMIP repository at: