Between January 24-27, 2017 the Sydney Soil Schools team were situated in Vancouver, Canada providing an intensive hands on workshop in digital soil mapping. The team consisted of Prof. Alex McBratney, Prof. Budiman Minansy and Dr. Brendan Malone. They were invited by the Canadian Government whom recently have embarked on a national project of the digital mapping the countries’ soil resource, and with a particular interest in mapping soil carbon stocks.

Journal Paper Digests 2017 #4

Journal Paper Digests 2017 #3

Rapid assessment of petroleum-contaminated soils with infrared spectroscopy

Published in Geoderma 289 (2017) 150-160.

This is the first paper from our new PhD student in the Soil Security Laboratory, Wartini Ng. Soil sensing using infrared spectroscopy has been proposed as an alternative to conventional soil analysis to detect soil contamination. This study evaluated the use of field portable and laboratory bench top infrared spectrometers in both the near infrared (NIR) and mid infrared (MIR) region for rapid, non-destructive assessment of petroleum contaminated soils.

Digital soil mapping of soil carbon at the farm scale: A spatial downscaling approach in consideration of measured and uncertain data

Published in Geoderma 290 (2017) 91-99.

Initiated during 2015, Quentin Styc was a visiting intern student from France to our soil security laboratory for 3 months. I had this idea of spatial downscaling and trying to include observational data into the scheme. Quentin was happy to work on this little problem, and actually presented some preliminary results on this at the 2015 Pedometrics Conference. At the beginning of 2016, i was troubled by the fact that we were not taking into account the uncertainties of the map to be downscaled. Then Budiman Minansy suggested we should use a sequential Gaussian simulation approach, which more-or-less became generating random fields with some predefined spatial structure to add some deviation about the mean. Doing simulations of these random fields with followed up with spatial downscaling, and incorporation of observational data. Overall this paper represents a team effort, and a training opportunity for an up and coming soil scientists.

Read on for the journal abstract.