25 Feb 2022
25 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Colombian soil texture: Building a spatial ensemble model

Viviana Marcela Varón-Ramírez1, Gustavo Alfonso Araujo-Carrillo1, and Mario Guevara2 Viviana Marcela Varón-Ramírez et al.
  • 1Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria - AGROSAVIA, Mosquera-Cundinamarca, Colombia
  • 2Centro de Geociencias - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Campus Juriquilla, Qro. MX

Abstract. Texture is a fundamental soil property for multiple applications in environmental and earth sciences. Knowing its spatial distribution allows for a better understanding of the response of soil conditions to changes in the environment, such as land use. This paper describes the technical development of Colombia's first texture maps, obtained via spatial ensemble of national and global digital soil mapping products. This work compiles a new database with 4203 soil profiles, which were harmonized at five standard depths (5, 15, 30, 60, and 100 cm) and standardized with additive log-ratio (ALR) transformation. A stack with 83 covariates was developed, including both quantitative and qualitative covariates, and harmonized at 1 square kilometer of spatial resolution. The top explanatory covariates were selected for each transformation in all standard depths through a recursive feature elimination. Ensemble Machine Learning (EML) algorithms (MACHISPLIN and landmap) were trained to predict the distribution of soil particle fractions (SPF) (clay, sand, and silt), and a comparison with SoilGrids (SG) products was performed. Finally, a spatial ensemble function was created, which identified the fewest prediction errors between EML and SG, then selected the better of these algorithms for each pixel and standard depth. The results of EML algorithms show that the accuracy of MACHISPLIN and landmap were very similar in the SPF at each standard depth, and both were more accurate than SG. The amount of variance explained (AVE) was between 0.12 and 0.35 for EML, and -0.17 and -0.01 for SG; the concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) was between 0.32 and 0.54 for EML, and 0.04 and 0.16 for SG. The best EML performance was found for the two superficial layers (5 and 15 cm). The accuracy of the spatial ensemble was higher compared to the other algorithms at all standard depths, but the largest improvement was found at the first layer, where AVE values increased between 0.04 and 0.13, and CCC values between 0.04 and 0.10. EML predictions were frequently selected for each PSF and depth in the total area; however, SG predictions were better when increasing soil depth in some specific regions such as Orinoquía and Amazonía. The final error distribution in the study area showed that sand fraction presented higher absolute error values than clay and silt fractions, specifically in eastern Colombia. The spatial distribution of soil texture in Colombia is a potential tool to provide information for water related applications, ecosystem services and agricultural and crop modeling. However, some aspects must be attended in future efforts to accurately map soil texture; for example, the treatment of abrupt changes in the texture between depths, unbalanced data, and compositional data consistency in spatial ensemble products. Our results and the compiled database (Varón-Ramírez and Araujo-Carrillo, 2021; Varón-Ramírez et al., 2021) provide new insights to solve some of the aforementioned issues.

Viviana Marcela Varón-Ramírez et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-437', Fuat Kaya, 01 Mar 2022
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-437', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-437', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 May 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2021-437', Anonymous Referee #3, 25 May 2022
  • RC4: 'Comment on essd-2021-437', Anonymous Referee #4, 26 May 2022
  • AC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-437 Final response', Viviana Marcela Varón Ramírez, 15 Aug 2022

Viviana Marcela Varón-Ramírez et al.

Data sets

Textural soil data, Colombia, 0 - 100 cm Varón-Ramírez, Viviana Marcela; Master researcher; AGROSAVIA Araujo-Carrillo, Gustavo A.; Master researcher; AGROSAVIA

Textural soil maps, Colombia, 0 - 100 cm Varón-Ramírez, Viviana Marcela; Master researcher; AGROSAVIA Araujo-Carrillo, Gustavo A.; Master researcher; AGROSAVIA Guevara, Mario; Research associate; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Viviana Marcela Varón-Ramírez et al.


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Short summary
These are the first national soil texture maps obtained via digital soil mapping. We built clay, sand, and silt maps using spatial assembling with the best possible predictions at different depths. Also, we identified the better model for each pixel. This work was done to address the lack of soil texture maps in Colombia, and it can provide soil information for water related applications, ecosystem services, agricultural and crop modeling.