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A Study of Disturbed Soil Cover using Soil Electrical Resistivity and Topographic Data

V. P. Samsonova, A. I. Pozdnyakov, J. L. Meshalkina


The soil maps are overwhelmingly created using topographic data as secondary information. Under the condition of anthropogenic pressure on territories, connections ‘topography-soils’ may be weakened. The research was focused on the terrain of Bryansk Opolje, one of the ancient agricultural areas in Russia. The soil cover disturbance is seen in a number of places because of continuous cultivation, erosion, and reclamation. The main types of soils are grey forest soils and grey forest soils with the second humus horizons. The traditional soil mapping has been performed on the 16-hectare field. The electrical resistivity has been measured at nodes of the sampling grid with the grid size of 25 m. The additional measurements were done using four transects with a 5 m distance crossing various landscape positions. A topographic map at the scale of 1 : 5,000 was digitised to produce a digital elevation model (DEM). Slope steepness, slope aspect, profile curvature, tangential curvature, and Laplacian were derived from the DEM. Electrical resistivity was closely linked with soil classification areas, which was proved by the one-way ANOVA. For the entire field, none of the topographic attributes was totally connected with either soil distributions or electrical resistivity. At the same time, connections between terrain attributes and electrical resistivity are clearly expressed for some parts of the study area. In the case of reclaimed territories, where connections between relief and soils may be disturbed to a considerable degree, electrophysical methods may be informative for the soil mapping purposes.

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