Methods & Techniques
This page has links to methodology, that is, how a soil survey is actually carried out, or technqiues, that is, specific ways of collecting data.
"Digital Soil Mapping", sometimes called "Predictive Soil Mapping" (e.g. by Scull et al., Progress in Physical Geography 27: 171) refers to techniques of mapping soils with mostly digital techniques, of course incorporating field information.
Of the IUSS; includes notices and minutes of meetings and a list of DSM-related software.
Describes pilot projects in the USA, with contact information.
"Qu'est-ce qu'un pédopaysage? Comment le décrire? Comment comparer
deux pédopaysages? Comment établir une stratégie de prospection
cartographique à partir de documents existants et d'un secteur pris
comme référence? Clapas doit être vu comme une méthodologie
cherchant à répondre à ces questions.
"Le logiciel s'exprime sous la forme d'un ensemble de modules du logiciel SIG Idrisi"
This seems to have disappeared from the INRA site, after the untimely death of the author. The best description I could find is from Quantitative soil-landscape modeling
Research group of Paul Gessler at the University of Idaho (USA). Good bibliography.
A research initative funded by the USDA-NRCS, and headed by A-Xing Zhu and Jim Burt of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Includes the 3dMapper software.
"SoLIM uses fuzzy logic to assign a set of 'membership values' to soil at a given location. These values reflect the soil's fuzzy membership (similarity) to a set of prescribed soil taxonomic categories. A raster representation scheme can then represent soil information as an array of pixels, each of which holds a collection of membership values. Unlike traditional soil maps, the SoLIM raster representation scheme is not limited by any minimum mapping size that might eliminate relatively small soil features. More importantly, pixels in SoLIM's raster scheme can deviate from typical soil values, showing resource managers a continuous spatial variation of soil property values that more accurately reflects the physical landscape."
A selection of papers has been published in book form as Developments in Soil Science 31
Montpellier (F) 2004, Rio de Janeiro (BR) 2006, Logan, UT (USA) 2008.
"Pedometrics" is a neologism (since 1992) which refers to the application of numerical techniques to describe and map soils. The idea is to make soil survey, classification, and land evaluation as objective as possible.
All the latest news and links, official site of the IUSS Provisional Commission on Pedometrics; includes the Pedometron newsletter.
From the man who coined the term.
Geostatistics is the branch of applied statistics that deals with the exploration and modelling of spatial structure, and the use of this structure for mapping. It is used in many applications, not just soil survey. The portal for all things geostats is AI-GEOSTATS. Here are some soils-specific links.
An advanced but practical textbook from Pierre Goovaerts, from with downloadable datasets.
From Edzer Pebesma of gstat fame.
The Americans are to be commended for placing all of their materials (both procedures and datasets) on-line. The reasoning, which could profitably be adopted by other national survey organisations, is that the ratepayer (= US 'taxpayer') has already paid for the work to be placed into the public domain, and so it should be made freely available to all.
This is the primary source for soil surveys as conducted in the USA. It has detailed instructions for all phases of soil survey, including operations & management, quality control, classification, interpretations, field procedures, publications, maps, and information systems.
Published by the USDA-NRCS Soil Survey Division Staff under the leadership of Schoeneberger, Wysocki, Benham, and Broderson in 1998. Gives methods for site description, soil profile description, geomorphology, geology, soil taxonomy, etc.
View or download the PDF version (1,639Kb)
Some other soil survey organizations have published reports on their methods.
(General Techical Report W0-68; September 2005). Integrated survey for forestry; includes some soil information.
Modern sensor technology has the potential to revolutionise field soil survey. Both remote and near sensors can be used.
"Sensing Soil Condition is a technological approach for rapid assessment and large area surveillance of soil conditions for plant growth and ecosystem functioning (e.g. hydrological regulation, erosion
Land Degradation Surveillance
regulation, soil biodiversity). The technology is based on rapid screening of soil condition using infrared spectroscopy (IR). Soil properties and soil condition indices are predicted from infrared signatures of soils compiled into spectral libraries. Spectral libraries constructed from soils sampled from georeferenced locations may then used in conjunction with remote sensing imagery to map out soil quality and soil constraints over entire river basins."
A revolutionary approach to soil function assessment and mapping; the web site has all technical and journal publications for download.
Electro-magnetic induction probes are driven through the field and their location is controlled by GPS. EC is of course correlated with salinity; but can also be directly used as a co-variate in geo-statistical studies to reveal in-field, fine-scale, variations in soil properties.
Another source of geophysical sensors that can be applied to soil survey. Especially nice are the technical documents that explain the basic physics and the operation of the instruments.
A device for measuring soil electrical resistivity or conductivity produced by ASTRO Group, Russia; intended for non-destructive soil mapping for precision agriculture, land management, and engineering purposes. From Landviser, Inc. consultants of New Jersey. The site includes a brief description of the theory behind the instrument.
An explanation of the use of GPR for soil mapping by the USDA-NRCS, from the Plymouth County (MA) Soil Survey
Modern technology can be used for rapid, cheap, accurate field location, thereby increasing the quality of the soil survey.
An explanation of the use of GPS for soil mapping by the Plymouth County (MA) Soil Survey
Clients want to know the reliability of soil survey products. Several statistical techniques have been developed to deal with this problem.
Sigue la metodología propuesta por Forbes, Rossiter, y Van Wambeke para evaluar la realidad de campo de un mapa de suelos, orientado a determinar la proporción del área del mapa en la cual la información suministrada es substancialmente cierta
Soil Survey is an applied geographical science, so we have to follow the same rules as all good scientists
"The overall objective of the Soil Geographic Data Standard is to standardize the names, definitions, ranges of values, and other characteristics of soil survey map attribute data developed by the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). The NCSS is the body composed of the various federal, state, and local units of government who work cooperatively to develop the soil survey of all lands in the [USA]."
Without metadata, digital products are mostly useless.
The result of collaboration between USA and Canadian geoscientists, database designers, and developers of geologic map information: "This website is about data models for digital geologic maps and related data sets. Our products and discussion topics range from design philosophy to software implementation. They include: geoscience language; conceptual, logical, and physical models; data exchange; and tool development".
Provides a common conceptual and logical data structure, and a worked-out set of technical terms. Among the science language products is a description of terms for Sedimentary earth materials: upper-surface attributes"; this includes site characteristics and general soil development.
A science language product could be worked out for pedogenic soil.
Geotechnical engineers investigate soil properties to predict their behaviour under various kinds of construction or manipulation.
"The publications on this web site have been donated by their authors, in order that geotechnical engineers throughout the world can have free access to them." Includes Site Investigation by C.R.I. Clayton, M.C. Matthews (University of Surrey) (2nd ed.) and N.E. Simons and Critical State Soil Mechanics by A.N. Schofield and C.P. Wroth (Cambridge).
These are techniques to predict what soils will be encountered before going to the field, based on secondary information. They are also used to stratify for sampling.
from Jürgen Scheider of the Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Bodenforschung (NLfB) (PDF, 310Kb)
Laboratory analysis of soil samples is a fundamental component of soil survey.
A laboratory is only as good as its quality control. This is the final word on the subject, written by Piet van Reeuwijk of ISRIC.
From the USA National Cooperative Soil Survey. This is a detailed manual which is especially strong in tests to support classification with Soil Taxonomy.
Soil fertility testing for nutrient management recommendations.
It is possible to directly assess land degradation, including current soil conditions, by these field techniques.
Field indicators to assess degradation: erosion, salinization, deterioration of soil structure, etc. Could be used as the basis of a rapid field survey. Currently hosted at the Victorian Landcare Gateway
By Norman Hudson, Silsoe Associates
The question of soil sampling both to support general-purpose survey and to provide specific information on soil conditions over an area is an active topic of both research and technology.
The international standard for describing soils in the field.
Very detailed USA manual.
From the University of Nebraska
From the Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program. Includes a Field Handbook, the Guidelines for Conducting Surveys, and the Soil Physical Measurement and Interpretation for Land Evaluation. Off-line only, too bad.
van Baren & Borner (1979); ISRIC Technical Paper 1. traducción al Español (PDF, 9 788Kb)
The colour of the soil is an important clue to its genesis and properties.
Photographs are excellent documents for soils and landscapes. It is not a simple matter to get good photos.
A slide show from John Kelley of the USDA NRCS MLRA regional office in Raleigh
Ragg & Creutzberg, ISRIC Technical Paper 2 (1981)
The increasingly-rapid developments in rugged, low cost field hardware and specialised software may revolutionalize field data collection. The idea is to make all field observations directly in a digital device, which is also used for precise navigation. Surveyor notes can be captured digitally, leading to a huge increase in primary (un-interpreted) field data.
|Author: D G Rossiter||
|E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org||Last Updated: 2010_011|