A Large Scale GIS Geodatabase of Soil Parameters Supporting the Modeling of Conservation Practice Alternatives in the United States
Journal of Geographic Information System
Water quality modeling requires across-scale support of combined digital soil elements and simulation parameters. This paper presents the unprecedented development of a large spatial scale (1:250,000) ArcGIS geodatabase coverage designed as a functional repository of soil-parameters for modeling and comparison of water quality outcomes in the United States. The set of target models include: SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), APEX (Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender), and ALMANAC
... r), and ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management Alternatives with Numerical Assessment Criteria). This development relies on the Digital General Soil Map (DGSM) as the source of soil information, and leverages on architectural design and associated tools created for a companion product at higher resolution from which also was extended a procedure for refilling a large number of missing derived parameters. Outlined by regional watershed layouts and supported by GIS land use layers, the core product is developed using the File Geodatabase (FGDB) data structure, which brings, via customized Python-based tools, the data directly into geoprocessing workflows. The FGDB implement efficiently stores spatial soil features, tabular model elements and linked relationships, while seamlessly providing the environment for the extraction, spatial analysis, and mapping of the models' parameters. As an alternative, the composing spatial elements, polygons and multi-resolution rasters, and the models' elements are offered as a file-folder system of data with completely Open Source formats. Finally, this geographic database coverage provides support for the traditional large-scale and harmonized application of the models as well as an alternative to the higher resolution companion for areas where this information is still under development.