Determination of frequency for remeasuring ground and vegetation cover factor needed for soil erosion modeling

George Gertner, Guangxing Wang, Alan B. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Determining a remeasurement frequency of variables over time is required in monitoring environmental systems. This article demonstrates methods based on regression modeling and spatio-temporal variability to determine the time interval to remeasure the ground and vegetation cover factor on permanent plots for monitoring a soil erosion system. The spatio-temporal variability methods include use of historical data to predict semivariograms, modeling average temporal variability, and temporal interpolation by two-step kriging. The results show that for the cover factor, the relative errors of the prediction increase with an increased length of time interval between remeasurements when using the regression and semivariogram models. Given precision or accuracy requirements, appropriate time intervals can be determined. However, the remeasurement frequency also varies depending on the prediction interval time. As an alternative method, the range parameter of a semivariogram model can be used to quantify average temporal variability that approximates the maximum time interval between remeasurements. This method is simpler than regression and semivariogram modeling, but it requires a long-term dataset based on permanent plots. In addition, the temporal interpolation by two-step kriging is also used to determine the time interval. This method is applicable when remeasurements in time are not sufficient. If spatial and temporal remeasurements are sufficient, it can be expanded and applied to design spatial and temporal sampling simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-97
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Geostatistics
  • Optimal sampling design
  • Soil erosion models
  • Spatial and temporal variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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