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Global Land Cover Datasets

FAO Soil Units

This page provides access to and describes the GISS dataset "Global Distribution of FAO Soil Units at 1°×° Resolution", which distinguishes 27 soil types.

A more extensive version of these data including 106 soil units as well as soil texture and slope, is available as "DS 770.0: Staub and Rosenweig's GISS Soil and Surface Slope, 1-Degree", from the NCAR Data Support Section.

Available Information

Items which you may download here are:

Explanation of Arrays

The contents of INFO1, INFO2, and INFO3 are:

GLOBAL FAO SOIL TYPES                   DIMENSION = 360 X 180   SCALE = 1
OCEAN =   -9999     UNDEF =   99999     MIN =       1 MAX =      27

The possible values of the elements in IARRAY are:

  1. acrisol
  2. cambisol
  3. chernozem
  4. podzoluvisol
  5. rendzina
  6. ferralsol
  7. gleysol
  8. phaeozem
  9. lithosol
  10. fluvisol
  11. kastanozem
  12. luvisol
  13. greyzem
  14. nitosol
  15. histosol
  16. podzosol
  17. arenosol
  18. regosol
  19. solonetz
  20. andosol
  21. ranker
  22. vertisol
  23. planosol
  24. xerosol
  25. yermosol
  26. solonchek
  27. ice


  • Zobler, L. 1986. A world soil file for global climate modeling. NASA TM-87802. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Washington, D.C..

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