Soil erosion is one of most widespread process of degradation. The erodibility of a soil is a measure of its susceptibility to erosion and depends on many soil properties. Soil erodibility factor varies greatly over space and is commonly estimated using the revised universal soil loss equation. Neglecting information about estimation uncertainty may lead to improper decision-making. One geostatistical approach to spatial analysis is sequential Gaussian simulation, which draws alternative, equally probable, joint realizations of a regionalised variable. Differences between the realizations provide a measure of spatial uncertainty and allow us to carry out an error analysis. The objective of this paper was to assess the model output error of soil erodibility resulting from the uncertainties in the input attributes (texture and organic matter). The study area covers about 30 km2 (Calabria, southern Italy). Topsoil samples were collected at 175 locations within the study area in 2006 and the main chemical and physical soil properties were determined. As soil textural size fractions are compositional data, the additive-logratio (alr) transformation was used to remove the non-negativity and constant-sum constraints on compositional variables. A Monte Carlo analysis was performed, which consisted of drawing a large number (500) of identically distributed input attributes from the multivariable joint probability distribution function. We incorporated spatial cross-correlation information through joint sequential Gaussian simulation, because model inputs were spatially correlated. The erodibility model was then estimated for each set of the 500 joint realisations of the input variables and the ensemble of the model outputs was used to infer the erodibility probability distribution function. This approach has also allowed for delineating the areas characterised by greater uncertainty and then to suggest efficient supplementary sampling strategies for further improving the precision of K value predictions.

Assessing spatial propagation of error in soil erodibility factor using geostatistical stochastic simulation

2011

Abstract

Soil erosion is one of most widespread process of degradation. The erodibility of a soil is a measure of its susceptibility to erosion and depends on many soil properties. Soil erodibility factor varies greatly over space and is commonly estimated using the revised universal soil loss equation. Neglecting information about estimation uncertainty may lead to improper decision-making. One geostatistical approach to spatial analysis is sequential Gaussian simulation, which draws alternative, equally probable, joint realizations of a regionalised variable. Differences between the realizations provide a measure of spatial uncertainty and allow us to carry out an error analysis. The objective of this paper was to assess the model output error of soil erodibility resulting from the uncertainties in the input attributes (texture and organic matter). The study area covers about 30 km2 (Calabria, southern Italy). Topsoil samples were collected at 175 locations within the study area in 2006 and the main chemical and physical soil properties were determined. As soil textural size fractions are compositional data, the additive-logratio (alr) transformation was used to remove the non-negativity and constant-sum constraints on compositional variables. A Monte Carlo analysis was performed, which consisted of drawing a large number (500) of identically distributed input attributes from the multivariable joint probability distribution function. We incorporated spatial cross-correlation information through joint sequential Gaussian simulation, because model inputs were spatially correlated. The erodibility model was then estimated for each set of the 500 joint realisations of the input variables and the ensemble of the model outputs was used to infer the erodibility probability distribution function. This approach has also allowed for delineating the areas characterised by greater uncertainty and then to suggest efficient supplementary sampling strategies for further improving the precision of K value predictions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/20111
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