Types of Soil Survey

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Surveying topography for soil maps.
Surveying topography for soil maps. (Image: theodolite survey serie 6 image by Kostyantyn Ivanyshen from Fotolia.com)

Soil surveys are a county by county assessment of soil taxonomy, fertility and use on any given acre of land. It is a resource available to several different industries such as farming, forestry and mining. The data achieved for soil mapping is done by several different types of surveys.

Digital Mapping

Digital mapping uses geographic information systems (GIS) to increase the accuracy of land maps. GIS helps take into consideration topography, vegetation and soil types to better determine soil and land use relationships.

Pedometrics

Pedometrics uses qualitative methods for mapping soil. According to the University of Twente in the Netherlands, pedometrics makes soil survey, classification and land evaluation as factual as possible.

Geo-statistics

Geo-statistics uses statistics to explore and model soils through spatial data for soil mapping. It implies the use of mathematical calculations of GIS data in interpreting geological observations.

Sensors

Sensors are a common approach in surveying soil. It is a technological technique using infrared spectrometry to scan and map soil.

Laboratory Methods

Using laboratory methods to analyze soils for mapping is useful in determining fertility and soil profiles. Changes in soil chemistry over time can also provide information on relationships between land use and soil.

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