SoilSoc Research

Research projects Thesis abstracts

Application of the RothC model to cultivated soils in Iceland

Institute / Organisation / Unit: Agricultural University of Iceland (

Research director / Project Leader: Dr. Žorsteinn Gušmundsson Agricultural University of Iceland.

External advisor: Dr. Joanne U. Smith University of Aberdeen.

M.Sc. Student responsible: Sunna Įskelsdóttir (starting date autumn 2008)

Discription: Most of Icelandic soils are classified as Andosol or soils of volcanic origin. They are known to store much soil organic carbon (SOC) per unit area. The importance of SOC on soil properties is well documented and soil carbon sequestration has been identified as a possible CO2 mitigation option. To obtain a better understanding of the processes taking place and to be able to make a better prediction on the amount of SOC, models on soil C have been used. RothC model is based on pools of soil organic matter and there kinetics, as well as on easily obtained, environmental and management factors. It has proved to be useful in a number of different situations. The aim of this study is to test and valuate the RothC-26.3 model performance on Icelandic soils. The model will be run on datasets from four long-term experiments. The experiments are situated in different parts of Iceland, all cultivated grass fields with different amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied and varied soil texture. Properties related to high carbon sequestration in Andosol such as Si, Al, Fe and Mn will be analysed for possible model calibration. Models of this kind have not been applied to Icelandic soils before.