Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1422–1433 | Cite as

Spatial variability of soil organic carbon in different hillslope positions in Toshan area, Golestan Province, Iran: Geostatistical approaches

  • Abolfazl Bameri
  • Farhad Khormali
  • Farshad Kiani
  • Amir Ahmad Dehghani


Accessibility to organic carbon (OC) budget is required for sustainable agricultural development and ecosystem preservation and restoration. Using geostatistical models to describe and demonstrate the spatial variability of soil organic carbon (SOC) will lead to a greater understanding of this dynamics. The aim of this paper is to present the relationships between the spatial variability of SOC and the topographic features by using geostatistical methods on a loess mountain-slope in Toshan region, Golestan Province, northern Iran. Hence, 234 soil samples were collected in a regular grid that covered different parts of the slope. The results showed that such factors as silt, clay, saturated moisture content, mean weighted diameter (MWD) and bulk density were all correlated to the OC content in different slope positions, and the spatial variability of SOC more to slope positions and elevations. The coefficient of variation (CV) indicated that the variability of SOC was moderate in different slope positions and for the mountain-slope as a whole. However, the higher variability of SOC (CV = 45.6%) was shown in the back-slope positions. Also, the ordinary cokriging method for clay as covariant gave better results in evaluating SOC for the whole slope with the RMSE value 0.2552 in comparison with the kriging and the inverse distance weighted (IDW) methods. The interpolation map of OC for the slope under investigation showed lowering SOC concentrations versus increasing elevation and slope gradient. The spatial correlation ratio was different between various slope positions and related to the topographic texture.


Geostatistics Loess Soil organic carbon (SOC) Slope position Spatial heterogeneity Topography 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abolfazl Bameri
    • 1
  • Farhad Khormali
    • 1
  • Farshad Kiani
    • 1
  • Amir Ahmad Dehghani
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Soil ScienceGorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural ResourcesGorganIran

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