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Data Extent

Ecological site identification, soil observations, and geomorphology data collected by the Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) terrestrial program between 2012 and 2021 in the western United States

This metadata is the documentation for the field soil observations, ecological site identification, and geomorphology characteristics collected by the Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) terrestrial program between 2012 and 2021 in 14 states of the western United States. The AIM program is conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s and provides information to guide site-specific management of ecosystem functions and services. There are 31,267 monitoring plots (79% of plots) with identified ecological sites and 29,228 plots (74% of plots) containing soil morphology descriptions of soil horizons examined in excavated pits. While soil texture class is observed in most soil horizons (98%), rock fragment volume is the soil property with the least data availability (75%). The consistency of soil data (e.g., clay content observations within the ranges of texture classes) increases as a function of time following guidance in soil profile description training for AIM data collectors. Nearly 47% of AIM plots are found on gentle slopes of 0-5% steepness and on Flat/Plain and Hill/Mountain landscape types. The AIM database is a source of georeferenced soil and geomorphology information that can be used for land management and research on land potential, soil geography, and assessment of soil health indicators across the western United States.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource title: Plot characteristics
    File name: PlotCharacteristics.csv
    Resource description: Plot characteristics table contains information on GPS coordinates, ecological site ID, and geomorphological settings, such as slope, aspect, landscape type, etc.

  • Resource title: Soil horizon
    File name: SoilHorizon.csv
    Resource description: The soil horizon table has information on soil morphology attributes, such as color, texture class, effervescence, soil structure, etc.

  • Resource title: Plot characteristics data dictionary
    File name: PlotCharacteristicsDataDictionary.csv

  • Resource title: Soil horizon data dictionary
    File name: SoilHorizonDataDictionary.csv

  • Resource title: Methods
    File name: Methods.txt

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-168.39294433594 50.333189566983, -168.39294433594 70.577025108958, -129.36950683594 70.577025108958, -129.36950683594 50.333189566983))
POLYGON ((-125.46249389648 30.992325664343, -125.46249389648 48.991482184218, -95.931243896484 48.991482184218, -95.931243896484 30.992325664343))
Ag Data Commons
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming
Temporal Coverage
January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2021
Contact Name
McCord, Sarah E.
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service