See more from this Session: 75 Years of the SSSA While Looking Toward the Future
Tuesday, October 18, 2011: 8:20 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 214C, Concourse Level
Considerable changes have occurred in the field of Pedology over the past 40 years. One of the more important events was the publication of Soil Taxonomy. This document and the classification system it described changed the way we view, describe, and categorize soils in the U.S. Diagnostic horizons and features and other soil properties defined in Soil Taxonomy propagated research dealing with formation and distribution of these soil features as well as their impact on soil behavior. New laboratory methods and instrumentation have had major impacts on Pedology, but improved sensor technology and non-invasive field evaluation methods such as ground penetrating radar have allowed development and better quantification of many soil features. As with most disciplines, development and availability of computer hardware and software, and advent of the internet have had substantial impact on Pedology research, education, and application. In addition to managing and analyzing data, computer technology and development and widespread use of GPS, GIS systems, spatial statistics, digital imagery, and remotely sensed data have enabled Pedology to become more quantitative and have allowed the quantitative description and analysis of landscapes and associated soils and soil properties. Furthermore, infusion of geomorphic and geochemical mass transport laws with these quantitative Pedologic principles presents the potential for developing a robust soil prediction framework that explicitly couples soil spatial variation with environmental forcing, pedogenic processes and soil-landscape evolution. New developments such as these over the next 40 years are expected to continue to appreciatively alter the field of Pedology.