Sampling and mapping a soil erosion cover factor by integrating stratification, model updating and cokriging with images

Guangxing Wang, George Gertner, Alan B. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cost-efficient sample designs for collection of ground data and accurate mapping of variables are required to monitor natural resources and environmental and ecological systems. In this study, a sample design and mapping method was developed by integrating stratification, model updating, and cokriging with Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. This method is based on the spatial autocorrelation of variables and the spatial cross-correlation among them. It can lead to sample designs with variable grid spacing, where sampling distances between plots vary depending on spatial variability of the variables from location to location. This has potential cost-efficiencies in terms of sample design and mapping. This method is also applicable for mapping in the case in which no ground data can be collected in some parts of a study area because of the high cost. The method was validated in a case study in which a ground and vegetation cover factor was sampled and mapped for monitoring soil erosion. The results showed that when the sample obtained with three strata using the developed method was used for sampling and mapping the cover factor, the sampling cost was greatly decreased, although the error of the map was slightly increased compared to that without stratification; that is, the sample cost-efficiency quantified by the product of cost and error was greatly increased. The increase of cost-efficiency was more obvious when the cover factor values of the plots within the no-significant-change stratum were updated by a model developed using the previous observations instead of remeasuring them in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-97
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Cokriging
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Landsat TM imagery
  • Mapping
  • Sample design
  • Soil erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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