Pedometrics › Forums › 10 PM challenges › Can we incorporate mechanistic pedological knowledge in digital soil mapping? › Reply To: Can we incorporate mechanistic pedological knowledge in digital soil mapping?
[From Philippe Lagacherie, INRA, France)
Having begun my career as a soil surveyor, I appreciate well the loss of information from the soil surveyor’s mental model to any empirical DSM model, however sophisticated it is. Most of this loss lays in the story of soil cover genesis that a soil surveyor builds along his (her) prospection and uses as a powerful way for extrapolating the observations. Rather than searching the Holly Grail, i.e. the mechanistic model of soil forming process that would predict any soil properties at any locations that have little chance to become operational for the reason mentioned by Gerard, I prefer looking to less ambitious solutions e.g. considering in our models the old idea stating that the soil cover is made up of nested systems or completing the quantitative evaluation of DSM models by assessing the plausibility of the predicted soil patterns considering our knowledge of soil forming processes.