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Soil geomorphic unit and ecological site group maps for the rangelands of the Upper Colorado River Basin region

Data for journal manuscript: A quantitative soil-geomorphic framework for developing and mapping Ecological Site Groups


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Nauman, T.W., and Duniway, M.C., 2021, Soil geomorphic unit and ecological site group maps for the rangelands of the Upper Colorado River Basin region: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release includes maps characterizing soil geomorphic units (SGUs), climate zones, and ecological site groups that classify landscapes by ecological potential and behavior for use in land management in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) region. Soil geomorphic units were created by analysis and grouping of ecological sites (ESs), a more detailed local system of ecological units managed by the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). Vegetation reference community production data of ESs were analyzed to determine discrete rules based on field soils data linked to the soil survey geographic (SSURGO) database of the USA to determine SGUs. Then both reference production data and state and transition model (STM) state attribution [...]


Point of Contact :
Travis W Nauman
Originator :
Travis W Nauman, Michael C Duniway
Metadata Contact :
Travis W Nauman
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
SDC Data Owner :
Southwest Biological Science Center
USGS Mission Area :

Attached Files

Click on title to download individual files attached to this item. 6.49 MB application/zip 109.32 MB application/zip 104.08 MB application/zip 155.2 MB application/zip 180.35 MB application/zip 302.57 MB application/zip
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SGU Maps.jpg
“Predicted soil geomorphic unit maps of the study area”
thumbnail 898.33 KB image/jpeg


These raster datasets are made available for scientists and land managers to use for analysis of data or general estimation of land potential and behavior. The predictions can help provide an idea of what type of vegetation and land management issues may be relevant at any given location in the Upper Colorado River watershed up to an elevation of 9000 feet. The maps can be referenced to the associated publication to find estimates of key vegetation productivity estimates and possible ecological states characterized within the ecological sites that were grouped in this analysis. Future work is planned to better synthesize state and transition models for each group. The maps can also serve as frameworks for stratifying sample designs or to analyze other environmental phenomenon hypothesized to be related to variation in soils, geomorphology and climate. The associated SGU key can also be used to help classify soil survey components to SGU and to query the more detailed ecological sites for more in-depth analysis.


The author(s) of these data request that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/P92OPRMV

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