Irish SIS Final Technical Report 5: Predictive Mapping

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Resource or Project Abstract

The Irish Soil Information System (Irish SIS) project was established in 2008, following a comprehensive inventory of Irish soil data compiled by Daly and Fealy (2007), which had highlighted that soil data coverage of Ireland was incomplete in both detail and extent. The Irish SIS project was funded under the Environmental Protection Agency STRIVE Research Programme 2007?2013 and co-funded by Teagasc. It was led by Teagasc with the participation of researchers from Cranfield University (UK) and University College Dublin. The overall objective of the Irish SIS project was to conduct a programme of structured research into the national distribution of soil types and construct a soil map, at 1:250,000 scale, which would identify and describe the soils according to a consistent national legend. This map is now available in digital format and forms the basis of a new soil information system for Ireland (http://soils.teagasc.ie).

Satisfactory accuracy levels were only achieved with Bayesian Belief Networks and Random Forests. Random Forests produced better results for both Stage 1 and 2 modelling with the exception for the optimised BN model in Stage 2. However, in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 inference modelling, Bayesian Belief Networks predicted a higher number of individual soil associations compared to Random Forest models However, detailed analysis of the results from all models highlight the fact that results for individual soilscapes can vary quite substantial both within specific models as well as between different models. Although these results are purely based on the training accuracies of individual inference engines, they indicate that there is scope to exploit those differences using a Multiple Classifier System approach. A true assessment of the performance of individual models will only be possible using field observations. The important message is that different combinations soilscape and soil association models appear to produce different results and these differences could be exploited. If the validation results will confirm these results, a combined map should be generated based on a Multiple Classifier System.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Rachel Creamer
Teagasc
Environmental Scientist
Environmental Research Department, Johnstown Castle, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle Co. Wexford, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)53 9171200
e-mail: rachel.creamer@teagasc.ie

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Att: 1    STRIVE_ISIS-Technical-Report-5V2_Web.pdf  (16.51 Mb)

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Author(s)Creamer, R.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationIrish SIS Final Technical Report 5: Predictive Mapping
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=c9d6384c-3b88-11e4-b233-005056ae0019
Unique Identifierc9d6384c-3b88-11e4-b233-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-03-29

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Creamer, R.   "Irish SIS Final Technical Report 5: Predictive Mapping". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=c9d6384c-3b88-11e4-b233-005056ae0019 (Last Accessed: 2017-03-29)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=3060
Resource KeywordsIrish SIS Predictive mapping, soils
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2007-S-CD-1-S1
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeLand-use, Soils, and Transport
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe report and any data or information resources made available on this SAFER-Data resource have been generated by the Irish SIS project. The reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 1
Project Start Date Sunday 15th June 2008 (15-06-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 15th June 2008 (15-06-2008)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 12th September 2014 (12-09-2014)
Published on SAFERSaturday 13th September 2014 (13-09-2014)
Date of Last EditThursday 2nd April 2015 at 15:17:39 (02-04-2015)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 2nd April 2015 at 15:17:39 (02-04-2015)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The Irish SIS project adopted a combined methodology of utilising novel predicted mapping techniques in tandem with traditional soil survey applications. This unique combination at a national scale has resulted in the development of a new national soil map for Ireland. Building upon the detailed work carried out by the An Foras Talúntais (AFT) survey (known as Terra Cognita), the Irish SIS project generated soil-landscape models at a generalised scale of 1:250,000 for the counties of Carlow, Clare, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Meath, Offaly, Tipperary South, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, West Cork, West Mayo and West Donegal. These soil-landscape models (also referred to as soilscapes) were used as the baseline data for statistical models (random forests, Bayesian belief networks and neural networks) to predict soil map units in counties where there was no map available (referred to as Terra Incognita). To validate the methodology, this work was supported by a 2.5 year field survey, in which 11,000 locations were evaluated for soil type, using an auger bore survey approach. These data were used to check the predicted soil mapping units (associations) for counties: Cavan, Dublin, East Cork, East Donegal, East Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Louth, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary South and Wicklow, where a detailed soil survey map was not available. Where new soil information was generated, due to previously unknown combinations of soil-landscape units, profile pits were selected at representative locations across the country. These 225 pits were described and sampled in detail and were used to generate a new soil classification system for the country. The final product is a unique combination of new and traditional methodologies and soils data from both the AFT and the Irish SIS project. The final, soil association map of Ireland consists of 58 associations (excluding areas of alluvium, peat, urban, rock or marsh) that are made up from 213 soil series. Associated representative profile information is available in the online soil information system.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Soil formation is dependent upon geology, climate, vegetation, altitude, landform shape and finally management over time. The soil landscapes we see in Ireland today are a consequence of the changing climatic conditions over the last 100,000 years (with periods of glaciation, the last of which was 12,000 years ago) and the management of land by farmers. Using information about the geology, climate, landform and vegetation, this project has been able to develop the key relationships found between soils and these key factors in Ireland and uses it to predict areas of soils that had not been previously mapped in detail (i.e. by the original soil survey (An Foras Talúntais (AFT)) which took place between 1950s and 1990s and covered c. 44% of Ireland). This work was followed up by a 2.5-year field survey describing the soils found in previously unmapped areas. The final product is a national soils map at the 1:250,000 scale, derived from a unique combination of new and traditional methodologies and soils data from both the AFT and the ISIS project; and an associated soil information system which will be available to all.
Supplementary Information
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Links To Other Related Resources
  http://soils.teagasc.ie (Opens in a new window)

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