Multiobjective Network Optimization for Soil Monitoring of the Loess Hilly Region in China


The soil monitoring network plays an important role in detecting the spatial distribution of soil attributes and facilitates sustainable land-use decision making. Reduced costs, higher speed, greater scope, and a loss of accuracy are necessary to design a regional monitoring network effectively. In this paper, we present a stochastic optimization design method for regional soil carbon and water content monitoring networks with a minimum sample size based on a modified particle swarm optimization algorithm equipped with multiobjective optimization technique. Our effort is to reconcile the conflicts between various objectives, that is, kriging variance, survey budget, spatial accessibility, spatial interval, and the amount of monitoring sites. We applied the method to optimize the soil monitoring networks in a semiarid loess hilly area located in northwest China. The results reveal that the proposed method is both effective and robust and outperforms the standard binary particle swarm optimization and spatial simulated annealing algorithm.