Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal

Virtual soil project

The project

The INRA « Environment and Agronomy » division initiated the « Sol Virtuel » project with the aim to promote the emergence of simulation models coupling the physical, chemical and biological processes occuring in a soil profile and at the interface between the soil and the plants. This requires to gather people specialized in observation and modeling in order to propose couplings between processes as well as numerical representations of these processes.

The project answers two scientific goals.

  • One is to ease the development of models able to forecast the impacts of human activities and climatic changes on :
    • the behaviour of ecosystems and their sustainability
    • the primary gross production
    • the fate of organic and mineral contaminants
    • changes in soil physical, chemical and biological characteristics.
  • The other goal is to be a support for scientific communication and teaching.

The project has also managerial goals :

  • to promote the re-use of developed tools
  • to encourage the share of tools,
  • to ease the communication between thematic fields

In terms of softwares realisations, the goals are to develop a set of softwares allowing :

  • to create, modify all the processes and their related variables
  • to link the processes to create « skeletons » ; a skeleton being a representation of the interactions between the various processes
  • to develop « modules », a module being a re-usable «numerical » representation of a process
  • to assemble the modules using a skeleton to create a model,
  • to run models using dedicated Graphic User Interfaces.

The philosophy is to progressively increase the number of processes and of modules available to represent a process and hence to be able to build models with various degrees of complexity or subtlety in the description of the soil and in the numerical representations of the phenomena.

You will get more details on the platform and its developement as well as some small videos illustrating the concepts in the pages of the site. Perhaps will you be interested in joining the community of users to share your tools and use those already available. Sol Virtuel is not reserved to INRA or French scientists. All willing persons are sincerely invited to join the group of users . You can still e-mail us your remarks, they will be wellcome.