Relationships between soil depth and terrain attributes in a semi arid hilly region in western Iran

Abstract

Soil depth generally varies in mountainous regions in rather complex ways. Conventional soil survey methods for evaluating the soil depth in mountainous and hilly regions require a lot of time, effort and consequently relatively large budget to perform. This study was conducted to explore the relationships between soil depth and topographic attributes in a hilly region in western Iran. For this, one hundred sampling points were selected using randomly stratified methodology, and considering all geomorphic surfaces including summit, shoulder, backslope, footslope and toeslope; and soil depth was actually measured. Eleven primary and secondary topographic attributes were derived from the digital elevation model (DEM) at the study area. The result of multiple linear regression indicated that slope, wetness index, catchment area and sediment transport index, which were included in the model, could explain about 76 % of total variability in soil depth at the selected site. This proposed approach may be applicable to other hilly regions in the semi-arid areas at a larger scale.

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Correspondence to Shamsollah Ayoubi.

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Mehnatkesh, A., Ayoubi, S., Jalalian, A. et al. Relationships between soil depth and terrain attributes in a semi arid hilly region in western Iran. J. Mt. Sci. 10, 163–172 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-013-2427-9

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Keywords

  • Soil depth prediction
  • Topographic attributes
  • Digital elevation model
  • Soil-landscape model