Geostatistics: Principles and Applications in Spatial Mapping of Soil Properties

  • Nirmal Kumar
  • N. K. Sinha
Part of the Geotechnologies and the Environment book series (GEOTECH, volume 21)


Soil properties show a high degree of spatial variability due to the combined effect of physical, chemical, or biological processes that operate within the soil profile with different intensities at different scales. Knowledge of spatial variability of soil properties in the form of spatial continuous surfaces is important for identifying suitable zones for agricultural land management. To accurately describe the spatial variability, a very intensive survey is required. These intensive surveys are labor- and time-consuming. Soil maps can also be viewed as a source of spatial information on soil properties. However, these maps are prepared using pedological and morphological studies of pedons and are themselves based on point observations. The soil physical and chemical properties may be found to vary within a soil map unit. These maps also lack the required information of all the soil properties. Another method to get a spatial continuous raster of soil properties is to correlate them with satellite data, particularly hyperspectral data. This method requires high computations and sophisticated methodologies. In such conditions, spatial interpolation methods provide tools to analyze the spatial variabilities of soil properties and provide a spatial continuous layer by estimating the values of unsampled sites using data from existing point observations within the same region. This chapter reviews some of the popular spatial interpolation techniques used in soil science.


Geostatistics Spatial interpolation Spatial variability Soil properties 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirmal Kumar
    • 1
  • N. K. Sinha
    • 2
  1. 1.ICAR- National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use PlanningNagpurIndia
  2. 2.ICAR- Indian Institute of Soil ScienceBhopalIndia

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