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USDA-NRCS PROTOCOLS: Soil Mapping/Sample Collection. M.A. Wilson and S.J. Indorante. OBJECTIVES. To discuss:. Geographic partitioning of soils Scales of data compilation / availability Sample collection protocols. NATIONAL COOPERATIVE SOIL SURVEY.

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USDA-NRCS PROTOCOLS:

Soil Mapping/Sample Collection

M.A. Wilson and S.J. Indorante


Objectives
OBJECTIVES

To discuss:

  • Geographic partitioning of soils

  • Scales of data compilation / availability

  • Sample collection protocols


National cooperative soil survey
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE SOIL SURVEY

Determines geographic distribution of soils:

  • landscape models

  • maps

  • map unit/series descriptions

  • point analytical data

  • taxonomic classifications

  • interpretations/predictions


SOIL

  • A natural body composed of solids, liquids, and gases that occur on the land surface, occupying space, with one or more of the following:

  • Horizons or layers distinguishable from parent material by pedogenic processes

  • Ability to support rooted plants in a natural environment


Soil genesis model s f cl o r p t
Soil Genesis ModelS = f (CL, O, R, P, T)

  • Climate

  • Organisms

  • Relief

  • Parent Material

  • Time

Factors interact

to create natural

bodies on the

landscape in a

predictable

manner


Soil-Landscape Paradigm

  • In a geographic area, only a small number of repeating soil-landscape units occur

  • Observable discontinuities exist between conterminous areas of different soil-landscape units


Common Mapping Scales

Used in Soil Survey


Mapping Soil Geography

Landscape (1:100,000)


Soil-Landscape Units

(Landscape Scale)


Mapping Soil Geography

Landform and Components

(1:25,000)


Soil-Landscape Units

(Landform Component Scale)


The Mapped Soils

Map Unit Label

Mapping Units

are the basic

units for identifying

soil geographic order

in a soil survey


Soil Correlation

“Natural families of soil delineations

that can be interpreted similarly

are the ultimate and elusive goal

of soil mapping and classification.”

(Hudson, 1992)

The natural families created

are mapping units.


Systematic variability of soil properties
Systematic Variability of Soil Properties

  • Attributable to a known cause

  • Gradual or marked change in properties related to landform, geomorphic elements, and soil forming factors.

  • Distribution patterns must be related to landscapes and geomorphic surfaces for effective soil survey operations.

    (Wilding and Drees, 1983)


Problems of scale
Problems of Scale

  • Variations in soil properties range from megascopic (physiographic region and landforms) to microscopic in scale.

  • Relationship between systematic and random variability is likely to be scale dependent.

    (Upchurch and Edmonds, 1991)



Pedon
PEDON

Smallest volume of soil

that can be used to

describe and sample

the soil to represent

the landscape unit

Minimal horizontal area is 1m2,

but can range to 10m2 depending

on variability


Pedon1
PEDON

  • Sampled by NRCS scientists and National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) partners at universities, state, and other federal agencies.

  • Sites are usually selected to represent a central concept of a soil series.



Soil taxonomy
Soil Taxonomy

  • Classification system used by the NCSS for identifying and labeling soils in mapping units.

  • Nomenclature identifies soil properties


Order: Vertisols

Suborder: Aquerts

Great Group: Epiaquerts

Subgroup: Chromic Epiaquerts

Family:

Very-fine, smectitic, thermic

Series:

Sharkey


Soil series
SOIL SERIES

  • Lowest category in the U.S. System of Soil Taxonomy

  • Conceptualized class of soil bodies on the earth’s surface

  • More restrictive limits than higher taxa.

  • Soil series serve as the means to transfer soil information and research knowledge from one soil area to another.




The Pedon Concept--

Extending limited point data to geographic coverage


Soil Observation

and Measurement -

Pedon Data

A

B

R

C

Measurement

Observation




Map

Based

on

SSURGO

Data


Conclusions
CONCLUSIONS

  • The National Cooperative Soil Survey uses the model of soil genesis and the soil landscape paradigm to define landform components and soils.

  • Products include point morphological/analytical data with maps at various scales designed for land-use planning and interpretations.


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