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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Survey Enhancements for Natural Resource Management: Case Studies from the Southwestern U.S.

item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Merkler, D - NRCS
item Tugel, Arlene - NRCS

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 13, 2004
Publication Date: June 13, 2004
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Merkler, D., Biggam, P., Tugel, A.J. 2004. Soil survey enhancements for natural resource management: case studies from the Southwestern US. In: Proceedings of the 2004 USDA-NRCS Western Region Cooperative Soil Survey Conference, June 13-18, 2004, Jackson, Wyoming. 2004 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretive summary not required for proceedings.

Technical Abstract: This paper illustrates how both new types of data and the reinterpretation of existing data can be used to improve the quality and value of soil survey interpretations for natural resource management. New data on soil resistance and resilience to different types of disturbance can be used to select dynamic soil properties for inclusion in future soil surveys. Other factors, including data cost and quality, must be considered in the selection of dynamic soil properties. In the short term, we discuss an example of how GIS analysis tools can be used together with spatial slope and elevation information to produce more detailed thematic maps from existing Order 3 soil surveys. We conclude that (1) future soil survey enhancements depend on the development of soil and ecological, site-specific information on dynamic soil properties, (2) soil interpretations based on integration of GIS and process-based conceptual models increase the value of existing soil survey data, and (3) application of these conclusions will be facilitated by displaying soil as a continuum across the landscape.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015