Spatial patterns of carbon and texture on drumlins in northeastern Wisconsin

J. M. Kabrick, M. K. Clayton, K. McSweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the study was to determine if there is a consistent and pervasive spatial pattern to organic C and particle-size distribution for drumlin summits of the Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin. Accordingly, a method for estimating confidence intervals was developed and used to assess variogram similarity and variation. Organic C and particle-size distribution were determined for the upper 20 cm of mineral soil at nodes of sampling grids on each of six drumlin summits. The aeolian cap thickness was also measured at each node. Variograms and confidence intervals were constructed for each attribute on each drumlin. A systematic comparison of variograms and their confidence intervals revealed that C and clay content each had similar variograms from drumlin to drumlin. Thus, composite variograms for each C and clay content were then constructed. Organic C appeared to be nearly spatially random, while clay content is spatially dependent. Sand and silt variograms each varied from drumlin to drumlin and thus were not combined into composite variograms. Variogram dissimilarity for sand and silt appeared to be related to aeolian cap thickness; greater sill variances occurred on drumlins with thinner aeolian caps. The approach and methods described here have utility for identifying attributes that have similar patterns on a particular landform and show promise for more rigorously quantifying soil attribute patterns for soil surveys and related land information systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-548
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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