Remote Sensing Data for Digital Soil Mapping in French Research—A Review - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Remote Sensing Year : 2023

Remote Sensing Data for Digital Soil Mapping in French Research—A Review

Anne Richer-De-Forges
Songchao Chen
D. Arrouays
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Soils are at the crossroads of many existential issues that humanity is currently facing. Soils are a finite resource that is under threat, mainly due to human pressure. There is an urgent need to map and monitor them at field, regional, and global scales in order to improve their management and prevent their degradation. This remains a challenge due to the high and often complex spatial variability inherent to soils. Over the last four decades, major research efforts in the field of pedometrics have led to the development of methods allowing to capture the complex nature of soils. As a result, digital soil mapping (DSM) approaches have been developed for quantifying soils in space and time. DSM and monitoring have become operational thanks to the harmonization of soil databases, advances in spatial modeling and machine learning, and the increasing availability of spatiotemporal covariates, including the exponential increase in freely available remote sensing (RS) data. The latter boosted research in DSM, allowing the mapping of soils at high resolution and assessing the changes through time. We present a review of the main contributions and developments of French (inter)national research, which has a long history in both RS and DSM. Thanks to the French SPOT satellite constellation that started in the early 1980s, the French RS and soil research communities have pioneered DSM using remote sensing. This review describes the data, tools, and methods using RS imagery to support the spatial predictions of a wide range of soil properties and discusses their pros and cons. The review demonstrates that RS data are frequently used in soil mapping (i) by considering them as a substitute for analytical measurements, or (ii) by considering them as covariates related to the controlling factors of soil formation and evolution. It further highlights the great potential of RS imagery to improve DSM, and provides an overview of the main challenges and prospects related to digital soil mapping and future sensors. This opens up broad prospects for the use of RS for DSM and natural resource monitoring.
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Dates and versions

hal-04126699 , version 1 (14-06-2023)





Anne Richer-De-Forges, Qianqian Chen, Nicolas Baghdadi, Songchao Chen, Cécile Gomez, et al.. Remote Sensing Data for Digital Soil Mapping in French Research—A Review. Remote Sensing, 2023, 15 (12), pp.3070. ⟨10.3390/rs15123070⟩. ⟨hal-04126699⟩
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