Mapping acid sulfate soils
Since 1995, the department has initiated a number of projects to identify the extent, location, and risk level of acid sulfate soils (ASS) in Queensland. The mapping has been done in stages, and has concentrated on areas where the land uses are likely to have had the greatest impact on ASS.
It has been conducted according to the national standards established by the National Committee on Soil and Terrain1 and McKenzie et al2, which link sampling intensity to the scale of published maps (i.e. reflects the accuracy of the maps).
One of the important consequences of ASS mapping is to put the issue in context for various stakeholders. This allows them to assess its relative significance to them and also to plan future proposals to manage/minimise ASS disturbance.
A preliminary assessment based on the Qm unit (Quaternary, coastal and estuarine sediments) of the Queensland Geology map (Geological Survey of Queensland 1975) showed that there are about 2 263 000 ha of ASS in the state. Extensive areas were noted along the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York, Central Queensland and the Moreton region, with relatively smaller areas in the wet tropics.
Mapping in South-East Queensland
Mapping at 1:100 000 scale has been completed in South East Queensland, from the New South Wales border to Noosa. This revealed that there are 60 000 ha of ASS between Coolangatta and Noosa alone.
More detailed maps (1:25 000 and 1:50 000 scale) have been prepared for selected sugar cane areas (including Rocky Point, Moreton, Maryborough and Bundaberg); the Gold Coast hinterland; and the Maroochy River catchment.
Mapping has also been conducted around Mackay and in areas from Gladstone to Yeppon, as well as Cairns and selected areas near Ingham.
A full list of currently available mapping products is viewable under Guidelines and Publications. PDF copies of maps are available via the DERM library catalogue. Hardcopy maps, GIS coverages, sample site descriptions and laboratory data may be purchased from Environment and Resource Sciences Product Delivery.
- National Committee on Soil and Terrain (2009), Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook, third edition, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria.
- McKenzie NJ, Grundy MJ, Webster R, Ringrose-Voase AJ (2008), Guidelines for Surveying Soil and Land Resources, second edition, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Australia.
Last reviewed 16 December 2011
Last updated 17 October 2011