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Developing Pedotransfer Functions for Estimating Some Soil Properties using Artificial Neural Network and Multivariate Regression Approaches

Authors: Fereydoon Sarmadian, Ali Keshavarzi


Study of soil properties like field capacity (F.C.) and permanent wilting point (P.W.P.) play important roles in study of soil moisture retention curve. Although these parameters can be measured directly, their measurement is difficult and expensive. Pedotransfer functions (PTFs) provide an alternative by estimating soil parameters from more readily available soil data. In this investigation, 70 soil samples were collected from different horizons of 15 soil profiles located in the Ziaran region, Qazvin province, Iran. The data set was divided into two subsets for calibration (80%) and testing (20%) of the models and their normality were tested by Kolmogorov-Smirnov method. Both multivariate regression and artificial neural network (ANN) techniques were employed to develop the appropriate PTFs for predicting soil parameters using easily measurable characteristics of clay, silt, O.C, S.P, B.D and CaCO3. The performance of the multivariate regression and ANN models was evaluated using an independent test data set. In order to evaluate the models, root mean square error (RMSE) and R2 were used. The comparison of RSME for two mentioned models showed that the ANN model gives better estimates of F.C and P.W.P than the multivariate regression model. The value of RMSE and R2 derived by ANN model for F.C and P.W.P were (2.35, 0.77) and (2.83, 0.72), respectively. The corresponding values for multivariate regression model were (4.46, 0.68) and (5.21, 0.64), respectively. Results showed that ANN with five neurons in hidden layer had better performance in predicting soil properties than multivariate regression.

Keywords: Artificial neural network, Field capacity, Permanentwilting point, Pedotransfer functions.

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