The hidden world beneath our feet

By: Gilbert Maas · 8 June 2018
Category: Soil and land use

Do we look properly at the soil? At what we find beneath us? And what is the relationship between this soil and all the flooding we have again experienced recently? Wageningen Environmental Research explains it in a short video.

A lot of soil data is stored in the BRO (Basisregistratie Ondergrond), the Dutch Key Register of the Subsurface. This data is used not only to solve all kinds of problems relating to agriculture and nature, but also spatial planning issues in urban areas. The changes taking place in our climate, with more intense periods of extreme precipitation and higher temperatures, mean for example that we need to take a closer look at rainwater drainage. Two main factors are elevation and soil type. A good permeability means that it is easier for rainwater to infiltrate the soil, and of course buildings and hard surfaces also play a role.

This means that measures need to be taken in existing residential areas, such as different kinds of paving and fewer tiles in gardens. In new developments, knowledge of the subsurface can be used to design climate-proof housing. This film shows how people are dealing with such problems in the guiding town of Ede.

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Gilbert Maas

Gilbert Maas

Researcher geomorphology and integrated river management at Wageningen Environmental Research.

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