Graduate Project

Mapping Santa Cruz Island, California soils using a Geographic Information System and field survey

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  • Soils of Santa Cruz Island, California were mapped at the subgroup taxonomic level using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and field survey. Lithologic substrate, vegetative cover, slope gradient and slope aspect comprised the GIS data layers; these correspond to the soil-forming factors that were hypothesized to exert the greatest influence on Santa Cruz Island soil genesis. The data were encoded according to map grid cells that correspond to 5.7 acre ground units. A total of 164 sites were randomly selected to observe soil properties representing each unique combination of pedogenic factors. Soils were described and classified according to the USDA Soil Taxonoy. The GIS was used to extend the 54 known soil types to all other grid cells having the same combination of pedogenic factors. An image map was created using the GIS to display the soils distributions.
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