3d digital soil-geology models of the near surface environment [abstract]

Scheib, Andreas; Ambrose, Keith; Boon, David; Kessler, Holger; Kuras, Oliver; Lelliott, Michael; Nice, Sarah; Palmer, R.C.; Raines, Michael. 2007 3d digital soil-geology models of the near surface environment [abstract]. [Poster] In: Pedometrics 2007, Tubingen, Germany, 27-30 August 2007. Not known, International Union of Soil Sciences, 85.

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Research in the top few metres of the ground beneath our feet has traditionally been split between soil science, geology and several sub-disciplines. This has lead to different working practices, classifications and boundaries as well as inconsistent approaches to databasing and modelling. A significant uncertainty lies within the “transition zone” between the pedosphere and geosphere. The British Geological Survey (BGS) set out to investigate this zone through multidisciplinary field surveys at both a site specific and catchment scale in representative soil-geoscapes across the UK. The spatial 3D soil-geology model is developed by the combination of spatial soil and geoscientific findings. Whilst undertaking these studies the BGS were particularly interested in investigating whether technologies developed to map geology in 3D can be used to routinely develop spatial models of the soil-geology environment, and if technologies used in digital soil mapping can assist in reducing uncertainties associated with such models at a variety of scales. The presented soil-geology model is an example of recent work carried out on an area of approximately 2 km2 near Shelford, Nottinghamshire, UK. The site lies on the River Trent floodplain and an adjacent gentle slope of Triassic mudstone. The whole site is underlain by typical red mudstones of the Triassic Mercia Mudstone Group with some interbedded greenish grey siltstones and sandstones. This is overlain by up to 5 m of Pleistocene and Holocene river terrace deposits, varying from sand to coarse gravels and Holocene alluvial and colluvial deposits. Fieldwork was orientated along several parallel traverses running from the hilltop, downslope towards the River Trent. The study of the survey area comprised of two main stages. Firstly a field survey which included techniques such as a detailed soil and geological survey, pitting and drilling, installation of piezometres, soil moisture tests, high-resolution electrical mapping, electrical resistivity tomography, ground penetrating radar, magnetic susceptibility, gamma spectrometry, remote sensing and terrain analysis. The second stage involved the digital assembly of data, processing, and the development of the 3D soil-geology model. Each survey delivered its own results in form of maps, tables and property models which were collated into one software package (GSI3D by INSIGHT GmbH). Developing a solid 3D soil-geology model in GSI3D utilizes a Digital Terrain Model, mapped geological and soil line work, downhole borehole and augerhole data, and geophysical data. This enables the geoscientist to construct regularly spaced intersecting cross-sections by correlating boreholes and the outcrops-subcrops of units to produce a fence diagram of the area. Mathematical interpolation between the nodes along the sections and the limits of the units or horizons produces a solid model comprising of a series of stacked triangulated volume objects. The final 3D model shows several top- and subsoil horizons in conjunction with the underlying Holocene, Pleistocene and red Triassic Mercia Mudstone parent materials. These models can aid studies of near surface processes including the movement of water, dissolved agricultural nutrients and associated eroded soil particles.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2008 > Spatial Geoscience Technologies
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Data and Information
Date made live: 19 Sep 2008 12:37 +0 (UTC)

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