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Journal Articles Geoderma Year : 2019

Validation of digital maps derived from spatial disaggregation of legacy soil maps


Spatial disaggregation of soil map units involves downscaling existing information to produce new information at a finer scale than that of the original source. Currently, it is becoming a powerful tool to address the spatial distribution of soil information over large areas, where legacy soil polygon maps are the only source of soil information. Because of the high expense of additional resampling, few studies have sought to validate disaggregated soil maps using independent sampling. This study implemented spatial disaggregation approach to measure the quality of soil property predictions derived from disaggregated soil maps, using stratified simple random sampling of a study area of 6848 km2 (11 strata and 135 soil profiles). In a previous study, the existing legacy soil polygon map of Brittany (France) at 1:250,000 scale was spatially disaggregated at 50 m resolution using an algorithm called Disaggregation and Harmonisation of Soil Map Units Through Resampled Classification Trees (DSMART), which uses soil-landscape expert rules of soil distribution in space. By fitting equal-area spline functions, soil properties were then estimated at six depth intervals according to GlobalSoilMap specifications. To validate disaggregated soil maps, two approaches were developed according to the soil attribute nature (continuous or categorical). For categorical soil properties (soil parent material, soil drainage class, soil type and soil depth class), the overall strict purity (the degree to which all classification criterion are respected) by the most probable STU (Soil Typological Unit) map was estimated at 34%, while the overall average purity reached 70%. The overall partial soil-type purity reached 60%, the overall partial parent material purity reached 78% and the overall partial soil drainage class as well as soil depth class purities reached 65% and 78%, respectively. Continuous soil properties (clay content, fine silt content, coarse silt content, total silt content, fine sand content, coarse sand content, coarse fragments, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) and pH) were validated at two soil depth intervals (5–15 and 30–60 cm) using 260 soil samples. In general, soil property predictions were unbiased except for coarse fragments and CEC in the 5–15 cm layer. Validation statistics (R2, RMSE, RRMSE and ME) were better for the 30–60 cm layer except for soil particle-size distribution. Thus, differences in prediction accuracies among strata (the validation support) denote areas where more soil data or better soil prediction models are needed to improve the disaggregation process.
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Dates and versions

hal-02283023 , version 1 (23-08-2022)


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Yosra Ellili Bargaoui, Christian Walter, Didier Michot, Nicolas P.A. Saby, Sébastien Vincent, et al.. Validation of digital maps derived from spatial disaggregation of legacy soil maps. Geoderma, 2019, 356, pp.113907. ⟨10.1016/j.geoderma.2019.113907⟩. ⟨hal-02283023⟩
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