TERN Soils Project Update - June 2013

TERN Soils Project Update

It has been just over 6 months since we held the TERN Soils workshop in Brisbane where we discussed our mutual involvement in the development of the National Soil and Landscape Grid for Australia.We thought this is a good time to provide you with a brief update on our progress and activities. If we have missed something please accept our apologies, or you have news that might be useful to TERN Soils, please let us know.

Highlights from the last 6 months (in no particular order)

  • National Soil Site Data collation completed. Thanks to everyone for your support in making this happen. 284,800 sites in the database with a total of 2,432,397 individual lab analyses recorded.
  • Nathan Odgers has completed developing and coding the DSMART disaggregation algorithms. A paper describing this method has been submitted and development of the property mapping algorithms is nearing completion. A number of DSMART targeted training workshops have been run, to get people up and running with the method.
  • Karen Holmes has been testing and applying the DSMART disaggregation technique to the WA soils mapping. At this point disaggregation will be completed for all existing relevant WA mapping by the end of June
  • A library of GSM compliant SCORPAN related raster covariate surfaces has been compiled and made available via ftp to the DSM community. ftp://tern-soils.science.uq.edu.au/GSMData/CoVariates/   username= soilsUser password= 9qAksERG
  • John Gallant and Jen Austin have completed the production of the 3 second SRTM DEM derivative surfaces. In particular a number of radiation surfaces derived from the SRAD model are now available.
  • Mike Grundy has been actively involved in a range of discussions aimed at securing funding for this work further into the future.
  • Since November David Clifford and Melissa Dobbie have been finalising a paper on non-parameter imputation of soil properties. Application of this technique to specific situations such as gap-filling the Geosciences Australia data appears to work quite well but applications to larger and less structured datasets is proving difficult.
  • David Jacquier, Peter Wilson & Jen Austin have made the currently available TERN Soils products (ie 3 second DEM derivatives & Raphael’s mineralogy, vis-NIR & colour maps) available for download

1.       Discoverable - http://portal.tern.org.au/search#!/q=soil/p=1/tab=collection/group=Soils

2.       Viewable - http://www.asris.csiro.au/viewer/tern/

3.       Downloadable - https://data.csiro.au/dap/search?q=TERN+Soil

  • Raphael and Charlie have been further developing the workflows for the National mapping.
  • Raphael has worked on a number of publications that relate to our TERN activities.

Highlights from our TERN partners and collaborators

  • Craig Liddicoat has investigated the applicability of a range of DSM techniques for refining the resolution of South Australian agricultural lands attribute mapping and is preparing to apply these later in the year. This will include assisting with the TERN ‘DSMART’ disaggregation work in SA.
  • Darren Kidd and Mat Webb working with Brendan Malone have completed the DSM and suitability mapping for their project areas in the Tunbridge and Meander Districts. They are currently working towards doing GSM compliant DSM and suitability mapping for the whole of Tasmania.
  •  Raphael completed a survey in the Meander using a proximal mobile sensor platform to map gamma data. Paper submitted to Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, and conditionally accepted with minor revision.
  • The Flinders and Gilbert Land Resource Assessment team have completed the first draft of DSM products for the project and have just completed and extensive validation field trip.
  • John Wilford and Mark Thomas in collaboration with DSITIA have begun work on a pilot project in the Burdekin to develop a regolith depth mapping technique which can be applied nationally. First field trip successfully completed and data collation well under way. They are also working with TERN (Adelaide Uni) to develop a regolith field logging app.
  • Jim Payne, Matt Pringle and Peter Zund are producing first draft DSM products for their Soil Erosion Susceptibility project in the Burdekin catchment. Maps for soil particle-size fractions (0-5 cm only at this stage) and depth-to-B horizon are done. Others are processing as we speak (EC, ESP, OC and depth-to-rock)
  • Soil property surfaces of Victoria for pH(1:5), EC(1:5), %clay and SOC have been delivered as part of VIC DSM 1.0 for the  'Understanding Soil and Farming Systems' project. These surfaces were created by Jonathan Hopley, Nathan Robinson, Rob Clark, David Rees and Richard MacEwan and will be reviewed and revised over the coming months. The surfaces adhere to the prescribed depths of the GlobalSoilMap.net project.
  • Jason Hill and his team have been capturing digitally a large amount of existing soil site and analysis data within the NT. This capture is adding significantly to our datasets in landscapes for which we previously had scant data.
  • Bruce Simons, Peter Wilson & Alistair Richie have been further developing and testing the Australia & New Zealand Soils Data Transfer Standard (ANZSoilML). As well as this, Alistair in particular has been developing data transfer standards for GSM products.
  • Jason Morris has been working away with SINFERS development. He has been working with David and others to finalise data architectures and is striving to have a demo version available for internal review by the end of June.
  • Jon Gray, Greg Chapman and John Young are continuing to build capacity in DSM and expect to have trial maps produced for selected regions of the State in the coming months. Jon has also produced preliminary digital maps for a suite of soil properties over the entire State using a simplified pragmatic DSM approach, which will be useful for research purposes, including comparison with more sophisticated DSM products.

TERN Soils publications in peer reviewed journals

  • Fine‐resolution multiscale mapping of clay minerals in Australian soils measured with near infrared spectra. Viscarra Rossel (2011) Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface.
  • Predicting soil properties from the Australian soil visible–near infrared spectroscopic database. Viscarra Rossel & Webster (2012) European Journal of Soil Science.
  • Fluctuations in method-of-moments variograms caused by clustered sampling and their elimination by declustering and residual maximum likelihood estimation. Published paper on the declustering (debiasing) of spatial data. Marchant, Viscarra Rossel & Webster (2013) European Journal of Soil Science.
  • Disaggregating and harmonising soil map units through resampled classification trees. Nathan P Odgers, Sun Wei, Alex. B. McBratney, Budiman Minasny, David Clifford. (In Press)

Other TERN publications and communication

The TERN Soils team presented at the TERN Symposium in February. The presentations were:

  • Mapping Australian Soil: The TERN-Soil approach. RA Viscarra Rossel
  • The Need for Effective Soil Information Infrastructure. R Searle
  • Uncertainty in the Measurement and Mapping of Soil Attributes . D Clifford
  • Topographic Parameters for Australia . J Gallant
  • Spatial Disaggregation of Legacy Soil Maps in Support of the Australian Soil Grid. N Odgers
  • Modelling Regolith Depth in the Mt Lofty Ranges, SA: Towards an Australian Regolith Map
  • Soil Data Management. P. Wilson


What the next 6 months will bring

Not all of our future work and collaborations are totally confirmed as yet due to funding and resourcing considerations. That said some of the things we will be involved with include,

  • Ross, David and Melissa will prepare the point data and perform the splining and imputations to the specified depths.
  • Raphael and Charlie will use the prepared point data to model and map the soil attributes Nationally.
  • Nathan will be working with the Tassie folk to undertake disaggregation of Land Systems Mapping.
  • Karen & Ross will be working with Craig in SA to undertake disaggregation of Ag Land mapping.
  • Ross, David, Willo & Bruce will be working on developing up data distribution and transfer mechanisms.
  • Workshop in November?
  • And more....