SOIL SURVEYS: REVIEW OF DATA-COLLECTION METHODOLOGIES, CONFIDENCE LIMITS, AND USES

The scientific basis of the soil survey is that the locations of soils on the landscape have a degree of predictability. Soil surveys are reasonably accurate and affordably feasible because this soil-landscape association possesses a degree of correlation that is high enough to allow inferences and predictions of soil behavior. The soil surveyor uses a working model of soil genesis on the landscape and tests it through observations. Inferences derived from these observations are extrapolated to the boundaries beyond which the inferences have been judged by the soil scientist to be invalid by virtue of changes in one or more of the factors (e.g., slope, vegetation, parent material) responsible for controlling soil genesis. In most areas, the natural scatter or range of soil properties and the variability of the soil-landscape precludes the delineation of taxonomically pure soil units. This results in inclusions of both similar and dissimilar soils within the soil-unit delineations. Soil scientists recognize these inclusions and describe them as part of the map unit. The composition and variability of soil map units are discussed with examples of how these map attributes can be quantified to provide confidence limits for predictions of soil behavior. It is emphasized that the primary objective of most soil surveys is not to map delineations having taxonomic purity but to provide the user with information as a basis for judgments about soil potentials and behavior for various land uses. Studies and experience have shown that the uniformity of such map units for interpretive pruposes is much higher than is their taxonomic purity. (Authors)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 57-65
  • Monograph Title: Mechanics of track support, piles and geotechnical data
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00315300
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309029880
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1980 12:00AM