Spatial Mapping of Soil Properties Using Geostatistical Methods in the Ghazvin Plains of Iran

  •  Amir Bostani    
  •  Maryam salahedin    
  •  Md Mahmudur Rahman    
  •  Davood Khojasteh    


Geostatistical interpolation is widely used to map spatial variability in physical and chemical properties of soil, such as organic matter content, particle density; and pH. Geostatistical interpolation is a branch of applied science which predicts spatial concentrations at unknown locations at a study area by incorporating limited measured data, which is a major advantage over classical statistics. Although many studies applied geostatistical interpolation in agricultural land, there are still gaps in knowledge in selecting suitable models to map soil properties on a large geographical location. The objectives of this paper were to examine and to map the spatial distribution of the soil physico-chemical properties, including electric conductivity (EC), pH, sodium absorption ratio (SAR), organic matter (OM), percentage of sand, silt and clay, bulk density (ρb), saturate percentage (SP), and mean weight diameter (MWD), at 800 hectares of agro-industrial land at Sharifabad, Qazvin, Iran. The soil samples were collected in total 275 points in a regular grid (100 × 100m) over the study area. The exploratory statistical analysis was applied on the collected data for understanding the distribution of the dataset. The silt content, clay content and OM data showed normal frequency distribution, and the pH data show near to normal frequency distribution. The remaining soil properties data, including SAR, EC, SP, MWD, sand content and bulk density showed log-normal distribution, which was identified by the normality test of Kolmogorov-Smirnov with an error probability of 1%. The spatial characteristics of the dataset were assessed by semivariogram models in GS+ and GIS 10.3 software. Among the four different semivariogram models, namely linear, exponential, Gaussian and spherical, the best performing model was chosen following the highest R2 and lowest error values. The predictive geostatistical interpolation maps for each variable were drawn using ordinary kriging model. 

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