Dataset: Land and Soil Capability mapping of NSW



This dataset and its metadata statement were supplied to the Bioregional Assessment Programme by a third party and are presented here as originally supplied.

This Land and Soil Capability (LSC) dataset uses the best available soils natural resource mapping across New South Wales. It provides a broad-scale, regional view as to the dominant LSC class present for over 3000 individual mapping units through the assessment of eight key soil and landscape limitations (water erosion, wind erosion, salinity, topsoil acidification, shallow soils/rockiness, soil structure decline, waterlogging and mass movement).

The assessment of LSC is based on the mapping method and rule set developed by OEH (2012). It builds on the rural land capability classification and mapping undertaken for the central and eastern divisions of the state by the former Soil Conservation Service of NSW (Emery 1986) but with more emphasis on a broader range of soil and landscape properties.

The mapping is based on an eight class system with values ranging between 1 and 8 which represent a decreasing capability of the land to sustain landuse. Class 1 represents land capable of sustaining most landuses including those that have a high impact on the soil (e.g., regular cultivation), whilst class 8 represents land that can only sustain very low impact landuses (e.g., nature conservation).

Dataset History

The best available soils datasets were sourced to provide a single (seamless where possible) layer across NSW. Datasets collated to derive this map included:

published and draft 1:100,000 soil landscape mapping [1:100,000 scale]

published and draft 1:250,000 soil landscape mapping [1:250,000 scale]

Soil and Land Resources of the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment [1:100,000 scale]

Soil and Land Resources of the Liverpool Plains Catchment [1:100,000 scale]

Reconnaissance Soil and Land Resources of the Murray CMA Catchment [1:100,000 & 1:250,000 scale]

Soil Landscapes of the SCA Hydrological Catchments [1:100,000 scale]

Soils landscapes of the Comprehensive Coastal Assessment (Bare Point, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay and Ulladulla) [1:100,000 scale]

Southern Comprehensive Regional Assessment [1:100,000 scale]

Northern Comprehensive Regional Assessment [1:100,000 scale]

Reconnaissance soil landscapes of the Namoi CMA [1:100,000 scale]

Reconnaissance soil landscapes of the Upper Riverina (HSHL) [1:100,000 scale]

Reconnaissance soil landscapes of the Border Rivers/Gwydir CMA [1:100,000 scale]

Brigalow Belt South Western Regional Assessment [1:100,000 scale]

Reconnaissance Soil Landscapes of the Upper Macleay Catchment [1:100,000 scale]

Upper Murrumbidgee Soil Benchmarking project [1:100,000 scale]

Glen Innes Data Gap Reconnaissance Soils Mapping [1:100,000 scale]

Soil Information for the Nyngan 1:250,000 sheet [1:250,000 scale]

Soil Information for the Walgett 1:250,000 sheet [1:250,000 scale]

Soil Information for the Gilgandra 1:250,000 sheet [1:250,000 scale]

Reconnaissance soil landscapes of the Riverine Plains [1:500,000 scale]

Land Systems of the Western Division [1:250,000-1:500,000 scale]

Land Systems of the Cobar Peniplain Bioregion [1:250,000-1:500,000 scale]

All map units were assigned a unique master landscape code and then assessed for eight soil or landscape limitations: topsoil acidification, salinity, water erosion, wind erosion, mass movement, shallow soils/rock outcrop, soil structure decline and waterlogging. This information was stored and interpreted using a rule set ( in the Access Based Data Utility for Land and soil capability (ABDUL) expert system. The system allows for a manual override to modify LSC values when required. The most limiting LSC of the 8 hazards represents the overall LSC result for each map unit The overall LSC was linked to the geodatabase to produce the final map.

Dataset Citation

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (2013) Land and Soil Capability mapping of NSW. Bioregional Assessment Source Dataset. Viewed 29 September 2017,

General Information