Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Non-flat Earth Recalibrated for Terrain and Rugged Soil Relief

Version 1 : Received: 11 November 2018 / Approved: 13 November 2018 / Online: 13 November 2018 (09:18:25 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Blakemore, R.J. Non-Flat Earth Recalibrated for Terrain and Topsoil. Soil Syst. 2018, 2, 64. Blakemore, R.J. Non-Flat Earth Recalibrated for Terrain and Topsoil. Soil Syst. 2018, 2, 64.


Earth’s land surface area is raised from conventionally flat 15 to 64 Gha to account for hilly undulation and soil relief detail. Three main aspects are: topography, rugosity/tortuosity and micro-relief/porosity of vegetation-free ground. Recalibration is arrived at from four approaches: first, direct empirical estimates from the few compiled satellite or LiDAR data with means of +2.5–26% progressively overlain by +94% at cm2 scale for soil ruggedness then +108% for mm2 micro-relief; second, from digital elevation models with 1.6–2.0 times flat areas; third, by ‘reverse engineering’ global soil bulk densities and carbon reserves requiring x 2–6 land. Finally, a Fermi estimation conveniently sets the World’s new surface area – that exposed to Sun, air and rain – at 100 Gha (with 36 Gha flat ocean). Soil organic carbon (SOC) is thence raised to 8,580 Gt mainly in SOM/humus with its biotic complexity plus roots, VAM-fungi and leaf-litter, that itself = 17,800 Gt. Although four to six times IPCC’s or NASA/NOAA’s calculations of just 1,500–2,300 Gt SOC, this is likely an underestimation. Global biomass and biodiversity are at least doubled (x 2–3.5) and net primary productivity (NPP) similarly increased on land to >270 Gt C yr-1 due to terrain.


topographical land surface-area; soil carbon sequestration; climate; earthworms


Biology and Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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