, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 319-329
Date: 09 Nov 2012

Mapping of Soil Micronutrients in Kashmir Agricultural Landscape Using Ordinary Kriging and Indicator Approach

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Soil nutrient maps based on intensive soil sampling are useful to adopt site-specific management practices. Geostatistical methods have been widely used to determine the spatial correlation and the range of spatial dependence at different sampling scales. If spatial dependence is detected, the modeled semivariograms can then be used to map the interested variable by kriging, an interpolation method that produces unbiased estimates with minimal estimation variance. The objectives of this paper were to examine and map the spatial distribution of the soil micronutrients Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn on an agricultural area in Kupwara, J&K, under temperate climatic conditions. The ordinary kriging was first used to determine the values for the non-sampled locations, and then the indicator approach was used to transform the micronutrient content values into binary values having the mean values of each nutrient as the threshold content. All four elements analyzed showed spatial dependence using the indicator semivariograms. The strength of spatial dependence was assessed using the values of nugget effect and range from the semivariogram, the fitted range values decreased in the order Zn > Cu > Mn > Fe. The spatial dependence of the combination of two or more of the studied micronutrients was also examined using indicator semivariograms. In opposition to spatial analysis of individual microelements, indicator semivariograms obtained for the binary coding of the variables showed a great nugget effect value or a low proportion of sill. The maps for each nutrient obtained using indicator kriging showed some similarity in the spatial distribution, suggesting the delimitation of uniform management areas.