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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Determination of Map Unit Composition by a Random Selection of Transects1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 1, p. 156-160
    Received: Aug 24, 1977
    Accepted: Sept 20, 1978

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  1. C. A. Steers and
  2. B. F. Hajek2



A procedure for random sampling of mapping units and a statistical method for analyzing field data have been evaluated in five Alabama soil surveys. Taxonomic composition, consistency of delineations, and minimum number of transects needed for mapping unit characterization were determined by routine field examination, investigation of randomly selected transects, and statistical analysis of field data. The method requires that soil delineations be identified by landscape features with minimum traversing and observations and that potential transects (transects that may be selected for study) be located while mapping. Each delineation is represented by at least one potential transect; potential transects should traverse areas that represent the concept of a mapping unit. These transects make up the total available population of a mapping unit. From this population, randomly selected transects are sampled for detailed study. A minimum of 10 point observations is made on each. This procedure has shown that many mapping units in a survey area can be characterized at 80% confidence level by determining soil occurrence along less than 10 transects. In some cases it may be necessary to group soil series into similar interpretive units to reduce transect numbers and to present data that can be used.

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