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Predicting and Mapping of Soil Organic Carbon Using Machine Learning Algorithms in Northern Iran

EasyChair Preprint no. 3824

30 pagesDate: July 12, 2020


Estimation of the soil organic carbon (SOC) content is of utmost importance in understanding the chemical, physical, and biological functions of the soil. This study proposes machine learning algorithms of support vector machines (SVM), artificial neural networks (ANN), regression tree, random forest (RF), extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost), and conventional deep neural network (DNN) for advancing prediction models of SOC. Models are trained with 1879 composite surface soil samples, and 105 auxiliary data as predictors. The genetic algorithm is used as a feature selection approach to identify effective variables. The results indicate that precipitation is the most important predictor driving 14.9% of SOC spatial variability followed by the normalized difference vegetation index (12.5%), day temperature index of moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (10.6%), multiresolution valley bottom flatness (8.7%) and land use (8.2%), respectively. Based on 10-fold cross-validation, the DNN model reported as a superior algorithm with the lowest prediction error and uncertainty. In terms of accuracy, DNN yielded a mean absolute error of 0.59%, a root mean squared error of 0.75%, a coefficient of determination of 0.65, and Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient of 0.83. The SOC content was the highest in udic soil moisture regime class with mean values of 3.71%, followed by the aquic (2.45%) and xeric (2.10%) classes, respectively. Soils in dense forestlands had the highest SOC contents, whereas soils of younger geological age and alluvial fans had lower SOC. The proposed DNN (hidden layers = 7, and size = 50) is a promising algorithm for handling large numbers of auxiliary data at a province-scale, and due to its flexible structure and the ability to extract more information from the auxiliary data surrounding the sampled observations, it had high accuracy for the prediction of the SOC base-line map and minimal uncertainty.

Keyphrases: Big Data, carbon sequestration, Data Science, deep learning, Deep Neural Networks, Earth system science, Geochemistry, machine learning, Mapping, remote sensing, soil informatics, soil organic carbon, susceptibility

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Mostafa Emadi and Ruhollah Taghizadeh-Mehrjardi and Ali Cherati and Majid Danesh and Amir Mosavi and Thomas Scholten},
  title = {Predicting and Mapping of Soil Organic Carbon Using Machine Learning Algorithms in Northern Iran},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 3824},

  year = {EasyChair, 2020}}
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