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01.01.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2014

Environmental Earth Sciences 1/2014

Comparison of statistical prediction methods for characterizing the spatial variability of apparent electrical conductivity in coastal salt-affected farmland

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
R. J. Yao, J. S. Yang, P. Gao, H. B. Shao, G. M. Liu, S. P. Yu

Abstract

Soil salinity has been known to be problematic to land productivity and environment in the lower Yellow River Delta due to the presence of a shallow, saline water table and marine sediments. Spatial information on soil salinity has gained increasing importance for the demand of management and sustainable utilization of arable land in this area. Apparent electrical conductivity, as measured by electromagnetic induction instrument in a fairly quick manner, has succeeded in mapping soil salinity and many other soil physical and chemical properties from field to regional scales. This was done based on the correlation that existed between apparent electrical conductivity and many other soil properties. In this paper, four spatial prediction methods, i.e., local polynomial, inverse distance weighed, ordinary kriging and universal kriging, were employed to estimate field-scale apparent electrical conductivity with the aid of an electromagnetic induction instrument (type EM38). The spatial patterns estimated by the four methods using EM38 survey datasets of various sample sizes were compared with those generated by each method using the entire sample size. Spatial similarity was evaluated using difference index (DI) between the maps created using various sample sizes (i.e., target maps) and the maps generated with the entire sample size (i.e., the reference map). The results indicated that universal kriging had the best performance owing to the inclusion of residuals and spatial detrending in the kriging system. DI showed that spatial similarity between the target and reference maps of apparent electrical conductivity decreased with the reduction in sample size for each prediction method. Under the same reduction in sample size, the method retaining the most spatial similarity was universal kriging, followed by ordinary kriging, inverse distance weighed, and local polynomial. Approximately, 70 % of total survey data essentially met the need for retaining 90 % details of the reference map for universal kriging and ordinary kriging methods. This conclusion was that OK and UK were two most appropriate methods for spatial estimation of apparent electrical conductivity as they were robust with the reduction in sample size.

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