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This article in VZJ

  1. Vol. 12 No. 4
    Received: Apr 3, 2013
    Published: May 24, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): Budiman.minasny@sydney.edu.au


Pedometrics Research in the Vadose Zone—Review and Perspectives

  1. Budiman Minasny ,
  2. Brett M. Whelana,
  3. John Triantafilisb and
  4. Alex. B. McBratneya
  1. Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, The Univ. of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
    School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The Univ. of New South Wales, NSW 2052 Australia


Pedometricians apply mathematical and statistical methods in the study of the distribution and genesis of soil. Vadose zone scientists investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of soil and water properties beyond the rootzone. This review highlights common research areas and suggests where potential collaborative research for pedometricians and vadose zone researchers exists.

Pedometrics is the application of mathematical and statistical methods for the study of the distribution and genesis of soils. Pedometrics research in the vadose zone comprises studies of the spatial and temporal dynamics of soil properties as a scientific challenge to increase our understanding of the processes at the earth’s surface. While geostatistics has been the main topic of investigation, pedometrics in the vadose zone covers broader areas, which can be summarized in three main topics: (i) characterization of variability and prediction of variation of soil, (ii) sampling, measurement, and inferences of soil properties and processes, and (iii) dynamic spatiotemporal modeling. This review highlights some of the key common research areas for pedometrics in the vadose zone, showing the synergy between pedometrics and vadose zone science. A strength of pedometrics is estimating the spatial distribution of soil properties using empirical approaches. However, pedometrics needs to incorporate process-based knowledge, which adds the pedological and physical significance to the statistical robustness of predictions. A natural collaboration would therefore be with vadose zone scientists. Dynamic spatiotemporal modeling in a Bayesian hierarchical modeling framework provides a platform that will enhance collaboration between both disciplines. A future collaborative project can be envisaged to develop a global vadose zone model simulating fluxes and stores of soil water, solute, heat, and gas to address globally important issues.

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Copyright © 2013. Copyright © by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc.