Technosol and Anthrosol

The World Reference Base for Soil Resources categorizes soil that is heavily transformed and shaped by human activities as “Anthrosol.” In contrast to natural soil that can be found for example in forests and grasslands, Anthrosol is altered through human intervention, such as irrigation, cultivation or adding of organic materials or household waste. In the international classification, “Technosols” are soils with technical origin, produced entirely by humans. These soils are created with human-made materials and wastes, such as landfills, sludge, cinders, mine spoils, ashes, compost, or demolition waste. Technosols can have properties similar to natural soils. Technosols are created, among other reasons, in order to avoid the wasteful use of valuable natural soils, or because other soils are missing, as is often the case in urban areas. Technosols can also be produced with very specific properties for special purposes in urban or industrial environments. In common with other soils, technosols quickly become habitats for worms, insects, and microorganisms, as long as there is sufficient air and water supply. (JS)


Interviews: Pascal Boivin

Back to glossary