Abstract

Fractal techniques have been increasingly and successfully applied to identify and describe spatial patterns in natural sciences. However, objects with the same fractal dimension can show very different optical properties because of their spatial arrangement. This work focuses primary attention on the geometrical structure of the geographical patterns of soils in Europe. We made use of the European Soil Database to estimate lacunarity indexes of the most abundant soils that cover 92% of the surface of Europe and investigated textural properties of their spatial distribution. We observed three main classes corresponding to three different patterns that displayed the graphs of lacunarity functions, that is, linear, convex, and mixed. They correspond respectively to homogeneous or self-similar, heterogeneous or clustered and those in which behavior can change at different ranges of scales. Finally, we discuss the pedological implications of that classification.

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