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Soil Projects > OSACA

OSACA: Outil Statistique d’Aide à la Cartogénèse Automatique

There is a movement in soil science away from qualitative soil classification toward a quantitative approach based on measurement of soil characteristics. OSACA is a software tool designed to help the researcher in soil science perform soil classification on the basis of the clustering of numerical characterisitics of soil samples. Quantitative grouping of soil layer descriptions into profile classes has not advanced much since the 1960s. Here we tackle the problem from pedological, utilitarian and joint points of view using an application, OSACA, that we have developed for the purpose. The program calculates the taxonomic distances between observed profiles based on layer (horizon) characteristics. Characteristics can be either observed soil properties or layer class memberships. The inter-profile distance is calculated in three ways:

OSACA either allocates profiles to existing classes, or creates a new classification of the profiles. Since the pedological distance seems to be more useful for creating classes for pedogenetic and geomorphic studies, whereas the utilitarian distance may be more useful for environmental applications, we test the three distances for soil taxonomy application and available water capacity prediction by using as input variables, soil attributes, and classifying them into new set of profiles. The methods are described for a set of soil profiles in New South Wales, Australia, leading to a conclusion on the best distance predictor and the best input variables.


OSACA Application - Documentation


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European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Contacts:
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)