Soil Types: The soils in Austria are approximately 6,000 years old, which means that particular consideration must be given to soil conservation as the present level of scientific knowledge does not yet make it possible to return polluted soil to its original state. At the same time, eroded or stripped soil needs a long time to regenerate (if this is at all possible). Soil conservation is therefore acquiring increasing importance in landscape conservation and preservation of the fertility of the land. The main functions of the soil are production, filtration and infrastructure. For agriculture, the soil represents a raw material that is not renewable, at least not in the short term.
Conditioned by Austria's extremely diverse lithological structure, the sharp changes in relief and the varying climate, the soils also change over very short distances. Broadly speaking, in the Waldviertel and Muehlviertel areas there are predominantly silicate brown soils, brown podzolic soils and podzols, in the Northern Alpine foothills para-brown soils, gleysolic para-brown soils and Pseudogley soils and in the Southeastern Alpine foothills Pseudogley soils. High quality chernozems (steppe-land black earths) occur in the Vienna Basin, in particular north of the Danube; in the southern part, chernozems and rendzinas on gravel predominate. Rendzinas also cover large areas of the Northern and Southern Limestone Alps, whereas podzolic and semipodzols covers much of the Central Alps. In the wide valleys there are extensive floodplain forest soils. In the Seewinkel area, one of the lowest areas in Austria, there are saline soils map.