Title: Methods to Interpolate Soil Categorical Variables From Profile Observations: Lessons From Iran
Citation: GEODERMA vol. 140 p. 417-427
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC37355
ISSN: 0016-7061
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2007.04.022
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2007.04.022
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The paper compares semi-automated interpolation methods to produce soil-class maps from profile observations and by using multiple auxiliary predictors such as terrain parameters, remote sensing indices and similar. The Soil Profile Database of Iran, consisting of 4250 profiles, was used to test different soil-class interpolators. The target variables were soil texture classes and World Reference Base soil groups. The predictors were 6 terrain parameters, 11 MODIS EVI images and 17 physiographic regions (polygon map) of Iran. Four techniques were considered: (a) supervised classification using maximum likelihoods; (b) multinominal logistic regression; (c) regression-kriging on memberships; and (d) classification of taxonomic distances. The predictive capabilities were assessed using a control subset of 30% profiles and the kappa statistics as criterion. Supervised classification and multinominal logistic regression can lead to poor results if soil-classes overlap in the feature space, or if the correlation between the soil-classes and predictors is low. The two other methods have better predictive capabilities, although both are computationally more demanding. For both mapping of texture classes and soil types, the best prediction was achieved using regressionkriging of indicators/memberships (κ=45%, κ=54%). In all cases kappa was smaller than 60%, which can be explained by the preferential sampling plan, the poor definition of soil-classes and the high variability of soils. Steps to improve interpolation of soil-class data, by taking into account the fuzziness of classes directly on the field are further discussed.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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