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Statistical, computational and visualization tools for assessing and communicating soil complexity and variability
Convener: Ruth E Falconer  | Co-Conveners: Giovanna Vessia , Ana Maria Tarquis , Behzad Ghanbarian , Beate Zimmermann 
 / Mon, 13 Apr, 08:30–12:15
 / Attendance Mon, 13 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Soil is a vital natural resource acting as a hydrological zone where biological, physical, mechanical and chemical interactions occur. Interactions exist amongst the mineral material of original and deformed rocks, soil life (micro-organisms, plants, animals), climate (water, air, temperature) and human impacts. These interactions occur at different spatial and temporal scales making soil a dynamic, heterogeneous and complex material. In addition, the inherent variability of measured physical, chemical and mechanical parameters shall be taken into account and quantified for geo-material characterization and related hazards. Thus, human activities within urban areas (such as designing of structures and infrastructures, civil protection actions against hazard) and cultivated lands (agricultural and forestry activities) need robust quantitative tools and strategies for soil management. Today, an unprecedented amount of data from various sources is available for geoscientists, engineers and Local Authorities and other parties. A current challenge is to use and interpret such data. Towards this, several informatics’ tools (computational methods; algorithm development; image analysis of 3D/4D imaged data; interactive visualization, mobile apps etc.) have been developed to capture, process, analyze, interpret and deliver soil data to stakeholders.

This session provides an occasion to discuss the best strategy for (1) quantifying and modelling soil complexity and variability and (2) managing soil hazards and resources by exploiting new technologies and informatics tools. In this respect, multidisciplinary contributions related to managing and visualizing large geo-datasets, especially by Geographical Information System (GIS) platforms, are appreciated and welcome.