Advertisement

Integrated Terrain Forecasting for Military Operations in Deserts: Geologic Basis for Rapid Predictive Mapping of Soils and Terrain Features

  • Eric V. McDonaldEmail author
  • Steven N. Bacon
  • Scott D. Bassett
  • Rivka Amit
  • Yehouda Enzel
  • Timothy B. Minor
  • Ken McGwire
  • Onn Crouvi
  • Yoav Nahmias
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Military Geosciences book series (AMG)

Abstract

During the past three decades, the U.S. armed forces have been called on repeatedly to operate in the deserts of the Middle East and southwest Asia. Avoiding locations susceptible to extreme dust emissions and other terrain-related hazards requires the ability to predict soil and terrain conditions, often from limited information and under dynamic environmental conditions. This paper reports the approach used to develop an integrated, predictive tool for forecasting terrain conditions to support military operations in desert environments at strategic, operational, and tactical scales. The technical approach relies on the systematic integration of desert landform parameters in geomorphic models for predicting terrain conditions. This integrated effort is performed in a geographic information system (GIS) framework using expert-based analysis of airborne and spaceborne imagery to identify terrain elements. Advances in earth science research have established that unique, predictable relations exist among landscape position, soils, vegetation, and geology. Furthermore, new instrumentation allows the collection of a wide range of environmental information to characterize surface and subsurface conditions. By integrating models and methods from geomorphology, soil science, climatology, and atmospheric science with remote sensing and other technologies, a predictive model can be developed to support military operations.

Keywords

Predictive mapping Terrain hazards Landforms Soils 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for this project is from U.S. Army Research Office (Terrestrial Sciences) grants DAAD19-03-1-0159 and W911NF-09-1-0256. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Army Research Office. We thank the many scientists at the Desert Research Institute, Hebrew University, the Geological Survey of Israel, and the University of Washington have partially contributed to this project. We also thank personnel at the US Army Yuma Proving Ground, US Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin, and the National Park Service for support and access to critical desert areas for conducting field research.

References

  1. Acquisition and Technology Programs Task Force (ATP TF) (2009) Department of Defense Aviation Safety Technologies Report: Defense Safety Oversight Council, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Washington, DC, p 84Google Scholar
  2. Adams JB, Sabol DE, Kapos V, Filho RA, Roberts DA, Smith MO (1995) Classification of multispectral images based on fractions of endmembers: application to land-cover change in the Brazilian Amazon. Remote Sens Environ 52:137–154Google Scholar
  3. Amit R, Gerson R, Yaalon DH (1993) Stages and rate of the gravel shattering process by salts in desert Reg soils. Geoderma 57:295–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amit, R., Simhai, O., Ayalon, A., Enzel, Y., Matmon, A., Crouvi, O., Porat, N.,McDonald, EV. (2011) Transition from arid to hyper-arid environment in the southern Levant deserts as recorded by early Pleistocene cummulic Aridisols.Quaternary Science Reviews, 30(3):312-323.Google Scholar
  5. Atkinson R (2002) An army at dawn: the war in North Africa, 1942–1943. Henry Holt and Company, New York, p 681Google Scholar
  6. Bacon SN, McDonald EV, Baker SE, Caldwell TG, Stullenbarger G (2008) Desert terrain characterization of landforms and surface materials within vehicle test courses at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, USA. J Terramechanics 45:167–183Google Scholar
  7. Bacon SN, McDonald EV, Amit R, Enzel Y, Crouvi O (2011) Total suspended particulate matter emissions at high friction velocities from desert landforms. J Geophys Res 116:F03019Google Scholar
  8. Bacon SN, McDonald EV (this volume) Regional distribution of salt-rich dust across southwest Asia based on predictive soil-geomorphic mapping techniques. In: McDonald EV and Bullard TF (eds.) Military geosciences and desert warfare: advances in military geosciences.  Springer, New York, ppGoogle Scholar
  9. Birkeland PW (1999) Soils and Geomorphology, 3rd Ed. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. 430 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Bull WB (1991) Geomorphic responses to climatic change. Oxford University Press, New York, p 326Google Scholar
  11. Buringh P (1960) Soils and soil conditions in Iraq. Veenman & Zonen N.V., The Netherlands, p 322Google Scholar
  12. Caldwell TG, Young MH, Zhu J, McDonald EV (2008a) Spatial structure of hydraulic properties from canopy to interspace in the Mojave Desert. Geophys Res Lett 35:L19406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Caldwell TG, McDonald EV, Bacon SN, Stullenbarger G (2008b) The performance and sustainability of vehicle dust courses for military testing. J Terramechanics 45:213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dennison PE, Roberts DA (2003) Endmember selection for multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis using endmember average RSME. Remote Sens Environ 87:123–135Google Scholar
  15. Engelbrecht JP, McDonald EV, Gillies JA, Jayanty RKM, Casuccio G, Gertler AW (2009) Characterizing mineral dusts and other aerosols from the Middle East-part 1: ambient sampling. Inhal Toxicol 21:297–326Google Scholar
  16. FAO-UNESCO-ISRIC (1998) World reference base for soil resources, World Resources Report #84. Rome, Italy, FAO, p 88Google Scholar
  17. Gaydos SJ, Harrigan MJ, Bushby AJR (2012) Ten years of spatial disorientation in U.S. Army rotary-wing operations. Aviat Space Environ Med 83:739–745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gerson R, Amit R (1987) Rates and modes of dust accretion and deposition in an arid region-the Negev, Israel. In: Frostick L, Reid I (eds) Desert sediments: ancient and modern. Geological Society of London Special Publication 35, London, p 157–169Google Scholar
  19. Gerson R, Amit R, Grossman S (1985a) Dust availability in desert terrain: a study in deserts of Israel and the Sinai: physical geography, institute of earth science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Report prepared for the U.S. Army Research, Contract No. DAJA45-83-C-0041, Development and Standardization Group, UK, p 220Google Scholar
  20. Gerson R, Grossman S, Amit R (1985b) A procedure for the evaluation of dust potential and variability in desert terrain. Based on a study in the deserts of Israel: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Report prepared for the US Army Research, Contract No. DAJA45-83-C-0041, Development and Standardization Group, UK, p 84Google Scholar
  21. Gile L, Hawley JW, Grossman RB (1981) Soils and geomorphology in the Basin and Range area of southern New Mexico-Guidebook to the Desert Project: New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Memoir 39, p 222Google Scholar
  22. Gilewitch DA, Pellerin JD (this volume) The influence of physical geography on the battle of Kasserine Pass, Tunisia 1943.  In: McDonald EV and Bullard TF (eds.) Military geosciences and desert warfare: advances in military geosciences.  Springer, New York, ppGoogle Scholar
  23. Hijmans RJ, Cameron SE, Parra JL, Jones PG, Jarvis A (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. Int J Climatol 25:1965–1978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jayko AS, Menges CM, Thompson RA (2005) Digital method for regional mapping of surficial deposits in arid regions, example from central Death Valley, Inyo County, California: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2005–1445, p 31Google Scholar
  25. Jenny H (1941) Factors of soil formation: a system of quantitative pedology. McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, p 281Google Scholar
  26. Kamps CT (2006) Operation eagle claw: the Iran hostage rescue mission. Air Sp Power J 18(3):1–21Google Scholar
  27. Mabbutt JA (1977) Desert landforms. MIT Press, Cambridge, p 160Google Scholar
  28. McAlpine JD, Koracin DR, Boyle DP, Gillies JA, McDonald EV (2010) Development of a rotorcraft dust-emission parameterization using a CFD model. Environ Fluid Mech 10(6):691–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McBratney AB, Odeh IOA, Bishop TFA, Dunbar MS, Shatar TM (2000) An overview of pedometric techniques for use in soil survey. Geoderma 97:293–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McDonald EV, Caldwell T (2008) Geochemical characteristics of Iraqi dust and soil samples and related impacts to weapon malfunctions. In: Nathanail CP, Abrahart RJ, Bradshaw RP (eds) Military geography and geology: history and technology. Land Quality Press, Nottingham, pp 258–265Google Scholar
  31. McDonald EV, Pierson FB, Flerchinger GN, McFadden LD (1996) Application of a process-based soil-water balance model to evaluate the influence of Late Quaternary climate change on soil-water movement in calcic soils. Geoderma 74:167–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McDonald EV, McFadden LD, Wells SG (2003) Regional response of alluvial fans to the Pleistocene-Holocene climatic transition, Mojave Desert, California: Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 368:189–205.Google Scholar
  33. McFadden LD, McDonald EV, Wells SG, Anderson K, Quade J, Forman SL (1998) The vesicular layer of desert soils: genesis and relationship to climate change and desert pavements based on numerical modeling, carbonate translocation behavior, and stable isotope and optical dating studies. Geomorphology 24:101–145Google Scholar
  34. Meadows DG, Young MH, McDonald EV (2006) Estimating the fine soil fraction of desert pavements using ground penetration radar. Vadose Zone J 5:720–730.Google Scholar
  35. Mustard JF, Pieters CM (1989) Photometric phase functions of common geologic minerals and applications to quantitative analysis of mineral mixture reflectance spectra. J Geophys Res 94:13619–13634Google Scholar
  36. Nachtergaele FO, Spaargaren O, Deckers JA, Ahrens B (2000) New developments in soil classification World Reference Base for Soil Resources. Geoderma 96:345–357Google Scholar
  37. Parsons AJ, Abrahams AD (eds) (2009) Geomorphology of desert environments. Springer, New York, p 834Google Scholar
  38. Peterson FF (1981) Landforms of the basin and range province defined for soil survey: Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, Max C. Fleischmann College of Agriculture, University of Nevada, Reno, p 52Google Scholar
  39. Roberts DA, Gardner M, Church R, Ustin S, Scheer G, Green RO (1998) Mapping chaparral in the Santa Monica mountains using multiple endmember spectral mixture models. Remote Sens Environ 65:267–279Google Scholar
  40. Sabol D, Minor T, McDonald EV, and Bacon SN (this volume) Parent material mapping of geologic surfaces using ASTER in support of integrated terrain forecasting for military operations. In: McDonald EV and Bullard TF (eds.) Military geosciences and desert warfare: advances in military geosciences.  Springer, New York, ppGoogle Scholar
  41. Schaetzl RJ, Anderson S (2005) Soils: genesis and geomorphology. Cambridge University Press, New York, p 832Google Scholar
  42. Scull P, Franklin J, Chadwick OA, McArthur D (2003) Predictive soil mapping: a review. Prog Phys Geogr 27(2):171–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Singer A (2007) The soils of Israel. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p 306Google Scholar
  44. Soil Survey Staff (1999) Soil taxonomy: a basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys, 2nd edn. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, p 871 (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Handbook Number 436)Google Scholar
  45. Sweeney MR, Etyemezian V, Macpherson T, Nickling W, Gillies J, Nikolich G, McDonald EV (2008) Comparison of PI-SWERL with dust emission measurements from a straight-line field wind tunnel. J Geophys Res 113:F01012Google Scholar
  46. Sweeney MR, McDonald EV, Etyemezian V (2011) Quantifying dust emissions from desert landforms, eastern Mojave Desert, USA. Geomorphology 135:21–34Google Scholar
  47. Young MH, McDonald EV, Caldwell TC, Benner SG, Meadows D (2004) Hydraulic properties of desert pavements in the Mojave Desert, U.S.A. Vadose Zone J 3:956–963CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric V. McDonald
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steven N. Bacon
    • 1
  • Scott D. Bassett
    • 2
  • Rivka Amit
    • 3
  • Yehouda Enzel
    • 4
  • Timothy B. Minor
    • 1
  • Ken McGwire
    • 1
  • Onn Crouvi
    • 3
  • Yoav Nahmias
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Earth and Ecosystem SciencesDesert Research InstituteRenoUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA
  3. 3.Geological Survey of IsraelJerusalemIsrael
  4. 4.The Fredy and Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemGivat Ram, JerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations