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100 Volumes Geoderma





Geoderma first appeared in September 1967 and the 100th volume was being published in March 2001. It took 24 years for the first 50 volumes of Geoderma but only ten years to go from volume 50 to 100. The last 25 volumes have been published in four years and if this trend continues volume 200 will appear in 2017. Although we are confident that Geoderma is still at the forefront of publishing high quality soil science, we do not know how soil science will look in 2017. Like most scientists our horizon is only five, or at the most, ten years away. What we do know, at least to some extent, is how soil science has changed since Geoderma was first published and this Special Issue contains a series of papers focussing on developments and trends in soil science since the mid-1960s. Unashamedly, this is as much an issue about Geoderma as it is about soil science.

In the first paper we present an analysis of the material has been published in the first 100 volumes of Geoderma. A number of interesting trends have emerged and although the analysis reveals the trends and modes in only one journal,  we think that it might be representative for soil science as a whole. Others will no doubt further test this hypothesis. Soil science covers a lot of disciplinary and interdisciplinary ground and it would be impossible to review all developments in each and every branch. We have invited a number of authors who have reviewed developments in the major branches of soil science. Geoderma has been one of the innovators in the publication of research in soil variation and Gerard Heuvelink and Richard Webster review the subject. Developments in soil chemistry have been reviewed by Donald Sparks, whereas Oliver Chadwick and Jon Chorover focus on the interface between pedology and soil chemistry. Peter Raats reviews the developments in soil-water physics and Heribert Insam discusses the advances in the study of soil microbiology. In the final paper Ahmet Mermut and Hari Eswaran review some of the major applications of soil science.

All in all, we think that the papers sketch a number of major developments which have occurred in soil science since the mid-1960s. From the reviews we cannot conclude that the large increase in the number of papers is necessarily a reflection of the true advancement of soil science. The perspective of long hindsight will be needed for that. We do consider, however, this Special Issue to be an appropriate commemoration to the 100 volumes of Geoderma. We are obviously curious to know what Geoderma will publish in the coming 100 volumes, but we realise that the ‘new soil science’ to come is in the minds and hands of soil scientists through their ideas, imagination and search for a deeper understanding of soil.


Alfred Hartemink

   Alex. McBratney  

March 2001




Geoderma 100 (3-4)

Developments and trends in soil science

Special Issue to Commemorate 100 Volumes of Geoderma

Edited by A.E. Hartemink and A.B. McBratney




Developments and trends in soil science 

- 100 volumes of Geoderma (1967-2001)

A.E. Hartemink, A.B. McBratney and J.A. Cattle  

Modelling soil variation: past, present, and future

G.B.M. Heuvelink and R. Webster  

Elucidating the fundamental chemistry of soils: 

past and recent achievements and future frontiers

D.L. Sparks  

The chemistry of pedogenic thresholds

O.A. Chadwick and J. Chorover

Developments in soil-water physics since the mid 1960s

P.A.C. Raats  

Developments in soil microbiology since the mid 1960s

          H. Insam  

Some major developments in soil science since the mid 1960s

A. Mermut and H. Eswaran





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