Linking soil properties to landscape processes. Towards a regional prediction
Convener: B. van Wesemael  | Co-Conveners: T. Vanwalleghem , K. Van Oost 
Oral Programme
 / Mon, 20 Apr, 08:30–10:00  / Room 25
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Mon, 20 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Hall A

Biogeochemical models are increasingly extended from the point scale to the regional scale using spatial data on soil properties, land use, management and climate. Spatially explicit information on the combination of these data layers is not always available, and, therefore, the aggregation of the information introduces uncertainties, in particular when the models are based on non-linear processes. Geomorphic processes, such as soil erosion, significantly alter a wide variety of soil properties on both undisturbed and agricultural land. Among other properties, soil thickness, stoniness and organic matter content already show clear spatial patterns in small hilly catchments with a history of cultivation, overgrazing or deforestation. Since models applied at the regional scale are not able to represent the spatial variability of soil properties within small catchments, the results are often not satisfactory for practical applications at the scale required by environmental management. Although remote sensing and geophysical techniques improve quickly, the production of a complete cover of soil properties, such as soil organic matter content, bulk density, stoniness, degree of crusting and infiltration rate is still difficult at the regional scale.
In this session, we welcome theoretical, field-based and modelling studies that address the linkages between soil properties and landscape processes. We invite interdisciplinary studies that combine spatially explicit data on (historical) land use and management and rates of geomorphic processes in order to reconstruct the spatial patterns of soil properties at the landscape scale. Demonstrations of how such an approach leads to more accurate predictions of the carbon and water cycle at the regional are particularly welcome.