Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106288
Document author version
Title (Primary) Mapping of soil organic carbon content using multi-source remote sensing variables in the Heihe River Basin in China
Author Zhou, T.; Geng, Y.; Haase, D.; Lausch, A.
Journal Ecological Indicators
Year 2020
Department CLE
Volume 111
Page From art. 106288
Language englisch
Keywords Soil organic carbon; Remote sensing; Digital soil mapping; Random forests; Boosted regression tree
Abstract Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a large impact on soil quality and global climate change. It is therefore important to be able to predict SOC accurately to promote sustainable soil management. Although the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has many advantages and has been widely used in soil science research, it has rarely been used in previous SOC mapping studies based on remote sensing images. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of multi-temporal Sentinel-1A data in SOC prediction, by comparing the predictive performance of random forest (RF) and boosted regression tree (BRT) models in the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China. A set of 162 topsoil (0–20 cm) samples were taken and 15 environmental variables were obtained including land use, topography, climate, and remote sensing images (optical and SAR data). Using a cross-validation procedure to evaluate the performance of the models, three statistical indices were calculated. Overall, both RF and BRT models effectively predicted SOC content, exhibiting similar performance and producing similar spatial distribution patterns of SOC. The results showed that the addition of multi-temporal Sentinel-1A images improved prediction accuracy, with the root mean squared error (RMSE), the mean absolute error (MAE) and the coefficient of determination (R2) improving by 9.0%, 8.3% and 13.5%, respectively. Furthermore, the combination of all environmental variables had the best prediction performance explaining 75% of SOC variation. The most important environmental variables explaining SOC variation were precipitation, elevation, and temperature. The multi-temporal Sentinel-1A data in RF and BRT models explained 9% and 7%, respectively. The results from our case study highlight the usefulness of multi-temporal Sentinel-1 data in SOC mapping.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Zhou, T., Geng, Y., Haase, D., Lausch, A. (2020):
Mapping of soil organic carbon content using multi-source remote sensing variables in the Heihe River Basin in China
Ecol. Indic. 111 , art. 106288