Landscape topography is a key parameter impacting soil properties on the earth surface. Strong topographic controls on soil morphological, chemical, and physical properties have been reported. This chapter addressed applications of topographical information for mapping spatial patterns of soil properties in recent years. Objectives of this chapter are to provide an overview of (1) impacts of topographic heterogeneity on the spatial variability in soil properties and (2) commonly used topography-based models in soil science. A case study was provided to demonstrate the feasibility of applying topography-based models developed in field sites to predict soil property over a watershed scale. A large-scale soil property map can be obtained based on topographic information derived from high-resolution remotely sensed data, which would benefit studies in areas with limited data accesses or needed to extrapolate findings from representative sites to larger regions.
Part of the book: Geospatial Analyses of Earth Observation (EO) data
Isotopic tracers are useful for assessing linkages between soil movement and soil carbon dynamics in landscapes. Analyses of isotopes and comparison of isoscape (isotopic landscape) with observational data have been employed to investigate spatial distributions of isotopes, to test efficiencies of isotopic models, and to examine soil redistribution patterns and C dynamics. This chapter reviewed the application of natural (7Be, 210Pb) and anthropogenic fallout radionuclides (137Cs, 239,240Pu), and C isotopes (12,13,14C) in understanding mechanisms of soil redistribution and sedimentation. The chapter was organized to cover the formation, sources, and transport of these isotopes; how they are distributed and related to soil redistribution on C dynamics; and importance of their distribution (isoscapes) on investigating soil properties. We also provided a case study to demonstrate the feasibility of applying isotopes and isoscape modeling for understanding soil property variability in response to anthropogenic disturbance in a low-relief cropland field. Results demonstrated advantages of using 137Cs and C isotopic signature (δ13C) to trace soil movements and C dynamics. Topography-based 137Cs and C isoscape models were developed using light detection and ranging data (LiDAR) derived topographic metrics. The models successfully simulated the spatial patterns of 137Cs inventory and δ13C over an agricultural landscape and can benefit soil sedimentation and C dynamic studies in areas with limited observations.
Part of the book: Isotopes Applications in Earth Sciences