Digital soil mapping and its implications in the extrapolation of soil-landscape relationships in detailed scale

<div><p>Abstract: The objective of this work was to test the extrapolation of soil-landscape relationships in a reference area (RA) to a topographic map (scale 1:50,000), using digital soil mapping (DSM), and to compare these results to those obtained in similar studies previously conducted in Brazil. A soil survey in a 10 km2 RA, using conventional mapping techniques (scale 1:10,000), was made in order to map a 678 km2 physiographically similar area (scale 1:50,000) using DSM. The decision tree technique was employed to build a predictive extrapolation model based on soil classes and eight terrain attributes in the RA. The validation of DSM by application of field observation points resulted in a 66.1% global accuracy and in 0.36 kappa index. The most representative soils in the area were correctly predicted, whereas the less representative and less frequent soils in the landscape (and consequently with reduced sampling) had their prediction compromised. The RA proportion, which equals 1.5% of the total area, is a limiting factor in the formulation of soil-landscape relationships to precisely represent the mapped area by DSM.</p></div>