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Regionalizing soil properties in a catchment of the Bavarian Alps

Title data

Hofmann, Monika ; Engelhardt, Stefan ; Huwe, Bernd ; Stumpp, Christine:
Regionalizing soil properties in a catchment of the Bavarian Alps.
In: European Journal of Forest Research. Vol. 128 (2009) Issue 6 . - pp. 597-608.
ISSN 1612-4677

Abstract in another language

Regionalizing information on soil hydraulic properties is a fundamental task for solvingmany soil related ecological problems at the landscape scale. The objective of this study was toderive this information from readily available topographical and geological data for the watershed ofthe Halbammer (42 km2) in the Bavarian Alps. The database consisted of 297 profiles taken duringa one month field survey in summer 2001 and the topographical and geological maps (1 : 25 000)of the area. Soil profiles were grouped into six pedogenetic units taking into account the waterregime of the profile and its texture. Another classification was done that relied only on texture andbedrock material as to describe the soil hydrological properties independently from their position inthe landscape. In order to regionalize these classes, the tree based CART-Algorithm (ClassificationAnd Regression Trees) was used. This algorithm creates optimal classification trees based on aclassified training sample and available parameters. The decision rules of these trees then servedas basis for the derivation of soil maps that were created using the geographical information system ArcGIS 9.2. The accuracy of the regionalization was estimated using mathematical criteriaas well as human expertise. Six to ten units proved to be a good number concerning the availabledata, but even then not all of them could be separated by CART. The performance of the CARTalgorithm is measured by the decrease of the misclassification error of an optimally prunedclassification tree. In our study, the decrease of the misclassification reached 32% resp. 26%compared to a uniform classification of all data into the most frequent soil unit. The distributions ofsoil classes in the terminal nodes of the classification trees were useful for the interpretation of thesoil units in the maps' legends and also helped to identify typical soil patterns in the study area.According to these results, CART seems to be a suitable tool for regionalizing soil-related data, buthuman expertise is still needed to create plausible soil maps out of the information the CARTalgorithm provides.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER60465
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2015 10:25
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 08:23