Historical Perspectives on Soil Mapping and Process Modeling for Sustainable Land Use Management

Eric C. Brevik, Paulo Pereira, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Bradley A. Miller, Artemi Cerdà, Luis Parras-Alcántara, Beatriz Lozano-García

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Basic soil management goes back to the earliest days of agricultural practices, approximately 9000 BCE. Through time humans developed soil management techniques of ever increasing complexity, including plows, contour tillage, terracing, and irrigation. Spatial soil patterns were being recognized as early as 3000 BCE, but the first soil maps did not appear until the 1700s and the first soil models finally arrived in the 1880s. The beginning of the 20th century saw an increase in standardization in many soil science methods and wide-spread soil mapping in many parts of the world, particularly in developed countries. However, the classification systems used, mapping scale, and national coverage varied considerably from country to country. Major advances were made in pedologic modeling starting in the 1940s, and in erosion modeling starting in the 1950s. In the 1970s and 1980s advances in computing power, remote and proximal sensing, geographic information systems, global positioning systems, statistical and spatial statistics among other numerical techniques significantly enhanced our ability to map and model soils. These types of advances positioned soil science to make meaningful contributions to sustainable land use management as we moved into the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoil Mapping and Process Modeling for Sustainable Land Use Management
EditorsP pereira, E.C Brevik, M Munoz-Rojas, B.A Miller
Place of PublicationNetheralnds
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780128052013
ISBN (Print)9780128052006
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017


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