Complexity and nonlinearity in soils

EGU General Assembly 2009, Vienna 19-24 April 2009

Session NP3.9/SSS39. Complexity and nonlinearity in soils
Conveners: R. M. Lark , E. Perrier and A.M. Tarquis

Soil is not only a support for vegetation, but it is also the zone of numerous interactions between
the mineral material of the original and added rock, soil life (micro-organisms, plants, animals),
climate (water, air, temperature), and its position in the landscape. Due to these various processes
associated to its formation and genesis soil dynamics reveals high complexity that creates several
levels of structure using this term in a broad sense. Soil complexity can thus be observed at
different physical levels (i.e., frequency distribution of aggregates’ sizes, order of strata,
etc.), biological levels (i.e., oxidable organic matter availability, population distribution, etc.),
interaction levels (i.e. mineral paths between compartments, etc.), or evolutionary levels (short term
variations on water availability, long term erosion, etc.).
In this session, we invite contributions related to the modeling and quantification of these systems
that provide an improved understanding. We especially encourage studies using an integrated,
cross-disciplinary approach, whether based on statistical approaches that allow for scaling
behavior analysis, on fully formulated physical-biogeochemical models or on other methods and
techniques of complex systems science, such as statistical learning, data mining, time series
analysis, network analysis, cellular automata, fractal/multifractals, wavelets, genetic algorithms
and graph theory.

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