Iowa Soil Available Water Capacity Maps [gSSURGO]

Available water capacity (AWC) refers to the volume of water held per volume of soil that is available for plant uptake. This water typically occurs between suction levels of ~ -10 kPa (field capacity) and -1,500 kPa (wilting point). The capacity for water storage is given in centimeters of water per centimeter of soil for …Continue reading “Iowa Soil Available Water Capacity Maps [gSSURGO]”

The historical role of base maps in soil geography

This paper reviews the historical development of base maps used for soil mapping, and evaluates the dependence of soil mapping on base maps. Formerly, as a reference for spatial position, paper base maps controlled the cartographic scale of soil maps. However, this relationship is no longer true in geographic information systems. Today, as parameters for digital soil maps, base maps constitute the library of predictive variables and constrain the supported resolution of the soil map.

A taxonomically based, ordinal estimate of soil productivity for landscape-scale analyses

We introduce, evaluate, and apply a new ordinally based soil Productivity Index (PI). The index has a wide application generally at landscape scales. Unlike competing indexes, it does not require copious amounts of soil data, for example, pH, organic matter, or cation exchange capacity, in its derivation. Geographic information system applications of the PI, in particular, have great potential. For regionally extensive applications, the PI may be as useful and robust as other indexes that have much more exacting data requirements.