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Topics > Science > Information & data

Soil and land information

The department manages the State Land and Soil Information Framework, an important knowledge bank of detailed, comprehensive information on South Australia’s soils and landscapes.

What is soil and land information used for?

Landscape and soil features associated with underlying geology, landform and soil type (together with climate) are major factors influencing vegetation growth, water movement and the suitability of land for a variety of uses. A better understanding of land and soil helps us appreciate why different natural and production systems can be supported in different areas.

Good knowledge of soil and land improves our decision-making capacity, and is used for:

  • natural resources management – planning and policy development; guiding investment priorities; identifying the location, extent and severity of land management issues and areas prone to degradation; targeting on-ground works; supporting whole-of-landscape sustainable land use and management decisions for both production and nature conservation
  • land use planning – identifying limitations and opportunities for particular land uses and developments, from agricultural to urban, including the identification of ‘prime agricultural land’
  • biodiversity management – supporting whole-of-landscape environmental management planning; identifying suitable areas for habitat restoration; identifying threats to the environment
  • sustainable soil and land management – identifying threats to our soil and land resources (eg erosion, acidification, salinity), as well as opportunities for improving management and condition
  • sustainable water management – identifying soil and land conditions, land management practices and land uses that impact on water resources, as well as developing whole-of-landscape solutions
  • landscape modelling – developing conceptual models that answer specific questions, such as: environmental risk assessment (eg land salinisation); identification of biodiversity assets for protection (eg wetlands); land use potential (eg crop potential modelling); land management potential (eg suitability of areas for specific soil amelioration); infrastructure risk (eg underground cabling); and scenario modelling (eg modelling the potential impacts of climate change on land use, land degradation or soil carbon)
  • monitoring – as benchmarking information for monitoring programs; informing what to monitor and where; extrapolation of monitoring results across the landscape
  • research and education – identifying where in the landscape particular research outcomes apply; education of land managers, advisors, policy makers, planners, industry and the community about better soil and land management, and associated planning and policy development.

More information:


Soil and Land Program
Science, Monitoring and Knowledge Branch
Department for Environment and Water
PO Box 1047
Adelaide, SA 5001

You can also contact us via the department's Customer Service Centre.