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Assisting nonsoil specialists to identify soil types for land management: an approach using a soil identification key and toposequence models

Authors

  • G. J. Grealish,

    Corresponding author
    1. CSIRO Land and Water, Glen Osmond, South Australia, Australia
    2. Acid Sulfate Soils Centre, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • R. W. Fitzpatrick

    1. CSIRO Land and Water, Glen Osmond, South Australia, Australia
    2. Acid Sulfate Soils Centre, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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Abstract

Conventional soil survey information is often unclear except to specialists. An approach using soil toposequences and a soil identification key was used to aid the translation of soil survey information into a form suitable for a nonspecialist audience with a case study from Brunei. Soil Taxonomy was used to characterize the major soil types; however, to assist end users, a complementary special-purpose soil classification system was developed in the form of a soil identification key using plain language terms in English that were also translated into Malay. Easily recognized soil features such as depth, colour and texture were used to categorize soils to match Soil Taxonomy classes. To complement the soil identification key, conceptual soil toposequence models presented the soil distribution patterns in a visual format that local land users understood. Legacy soil survey information along with a widespread distribution of 172 soil sites from 35 traverses in 16 study areas provided a dataset to develop and test soil toposequence models and the soil identification key which both proved reliable and robust. The approach demonstrated in Brunei could be applied to other countries and landscapes.

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