Evaluating the Accuracy of Ensemble Machine Learning and Statistical Uncertainty: Spatial Prediction of Topsoil Thickness in Iowa

Meyer Bohn and Bradley Miller – Iowa Water Center Conference April 6-8, 2021 Abstract The objectives of this study were to assess spatial predictions of topsoil thickness from models produced from ensemble machine learning algorithms along with assessing the uncertainty estimations associated with those models. Boosting is one example of an ensemble method, which attempts …Continue reading “Evaluating the Accuracy of Ensemble Machine Learning and Statistical Uncertainty: Spatial Prediction of Topsoil Thickness in Iowa”

Digital Hillslope Position as an Alternative Method for Soil Mapping: A Case Study for Soil Surface Properties and Topsoil Thickness in Iowa

A statistical comparison of soil properties classified via Digital Hillslope Position and Floodplain algorithm vs. gSSURGO and Iowa physiographic regions.

Identifying Non-contributing Areas of Watersheds: A New and Repeatable Approach (2018 Environmental Science Seminar)

A new approach for delineating noncontributing areas of watersheds is presented. Maps of soil properties offer indicators of subtle landscape features and hydrologic functions. Our approach is to identify soil map units that reflect upland ponding and then define the sum of their watersheds as the noncontributing area. The decrease in time required to delineate noncontributing areas with a GIS method makes it practical to perform regional scale analysis of non-contributing areas.

William Smith’s 1815 Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with Part of Scotland: …Varieties of Soil According to the Variations in the Substrata (2018 EGU General Assembly)

The map produced by William Smith in 1815 is recognized as the first geological map of Britain, but it also represents a benchmark in cartography for the Earth sciences. Following the agrogeology concepts of the time, the title claims that by mapping the geologic strata, the varieties of soil are also shown. The new opportunity to leverage the proper map scaling in topographic maps as a locational reference to map other Earth science attributes set the stage for other revolutions.

Digital soil mapping of agricultural fields with perennial vegetation strips on contours (2018 EGU General Assembly)

Native prairie vegetation strips on contours (STRIPS) are a relatively new conservation strategy which bring a host of ecosystem services. They also add a degree of complexity to what would otherwise be a simplified landscape. This study analyzes the impact of the presence of the prairie strips on surrounding soil properties.

Predicted Impacts of Heavy Metals in Soils Downwind of the City of Ames Power Plant (2017 Soil Health Conference)

The City of Ames Power Plant opened in 1901 as a coal-fired plant, converted to coal-fuel and refuse derived fuel (RDF) in 1975, and then to exclusively RDF in 2016. Fly ash that escapes the plant’s air pollution removal system contains heavy metals originally present in the fossil fuels, and are transported from the smoke stack and deposited onto surrounding areas. This project used hourly weather data and annual emissions estimates from the City of Ames Power Plant in a Gaussian Dispersion model within MATLAB, to predict the location of soils with highest expected deposition of nickel, lead, and mercury from the plant between 2004 and 2015.