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Disaggregation of legacy soil data using area to point kriging for mapping soil organic carbon at the regional scale

Kerry, Ruth; Goovaerts, Pierre; Rawlins, Barry G.; Marchant, Ben P.. 2012 Disaggregation of legacy soil data using area to point kriging for mapping soil organic carbon at the regional scale. Geoderma, 170. 347-358. 10.1016/j.geoderma.2011.10.007

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Abstract/Summary

Legacy data in the form of soil maps, which often have typical property measurements associated with each polygon, can be an important source of information for digital soil mapping (DSM). Methods of disaggregating such information and using it for quantitative estimation of soil properties by methods such as regression kriging (RK) are needed. Several disaggregation processes have been investigated; preferred methods include those which include consideration of scorpan factors and those which are mass preserving (pycnophylactic) making transitions between different scales of investigation more theoretically sound. Area to point kriging (AtoP kriging) is pycnophylactic and here we investigate its merits for disaggregating legacy data from soil polygon maps. Area to point regression kriging (AtoP RK) which incorporates ancillary data into the disaggregation process was also applied. The AtoP kriging and AtoP RK approaches do not involve collection of new soil measurements and are compared with disaggregation by simple rasterization. Of the disaggregation methods investigated, AtoP RK gave the most accurate predictions of soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations (smaller mean absolute errors (MAEs) of cross-validation) for disaggregation of soil polygon data across the whole of Northern Ireland. Legacy soil polygon data disaggregated by AtoP kriging and simple rasterization were used in a RK framework for estimating soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations across the whole of Northern Ireland, using soil sample data from the Tellus survey of Northern Ireland and with other covariates (altitude and airborne radiometric potassium). This allowed direct comparison with previous analysis of the Tellus survey data. Incorporating the legacy data, whether from simple rasterization of the polygons or AtoP kriging, substantially reduced the MAEs of RK compared with previous analyses of the Tellus data. However, using legacy data disaggregated by AtoP kriging in RK resulted in a greater reduction in MAEs. A jack-knife procedure was also performed to determine a suitable number of additional soil samples that would need to be collected for RK of SOC for the whole of Northern Ireland depending on the availability of ancillary data. We recommend i) if only legacy soil polygon map data are available, they should be disaggregated using AtoP kriging, ii) if ancillary data are also available legacy data should be disaggregated using AtoP RK and iii) if new soil measurements are available in addition to ancillary and legacy soil map data, the legacy soil map data should be first disaggregated using AtoP kriging and these data used along with ancillary data as the fixed effects for RK of the new soil measurements.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.geoderma.2011.10.007
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
ISSN: 0016-7061
Date made live: 04 Jan 2012 11:20
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/16224

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