An assessment of the variation in soil properties within and between landform in the Amol region, Iran

H.R. Momtaz, A.A. Jafarzadeh, H. Torabi, S. Oustan, A. Samadi, N. Davatgar, Robert Gilkes

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    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Soil survey users require statistically valid information on the distribution and variability of soil attributes that are important for management and land use. Rigorous investigations of soil property distributions arerare, and statistical methodologies for soil survey applications are not commonly utilised. The objectives ofour research were to: (i) evaluate the statistical distribution of soil properties for several landform elements,(ii) interpret these distributions in terms of pedogenic and other processes. Eight soil properties weremeasured for 57 pedons on 4 landform elements in the Amol region of Iran. Landforms were piedmont plain,levee, behind levee and lowland. The selection of samples was on the basis of distinct layers present inprofiles. Clay concentration has a normal distribution for the soil samples from each of the four landformswhereas silt concentration is normally distributed only for the piedmont plain, CaCO3 for lowland and CECexcept for lowland. Concentrations of sand and organic carbon (for all landforms), EC (except for behindlevee), CaCO3 (except for levee) and CEC (lowland) followed lognormal distributions. However there weresome soil properties for which a log transformation did not produce a normal frequency distribution. Careshould be taken when applying statistical tests that are sensitive to departures from normality butasymmetric or misshapen distributions may still provide meaningful information. In order to investigate thedistribution patterns of soil properties for the different landforms, factor analysis was performed on the datafor each soil layer and this strongly differentiated the landforms. For the piedmont plain, attributes reflectingilluviation of clay dominate whereas for levee and behind levee soils original properties of stratifiedsediments are the dominant factors. For the lowland, variations in the factors indicate that pedogenicprocesses rather than sedimentary layering are dominant. The important contributions of both sedimentary sorting and pedogenesis to the distribution and properties of soils have been revealed by statistical analysis. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-18
    JournalGeoderma
    Volume149
    Issue number1/2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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