iSOIL - Interactions between soil related sciences -
Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping

Successful applications of mobile multisensor for soil mapping and diverse soil parameters

In our mobile soil survey system, different geophysical and spectrometric sensors can be mounted on sledges and pulled behind a tractor or a car. This system allows a simultaneous measurement of many physical soil parameters, i.e. a non-invasive, cost-effective (fast) and accurate survey for large areas.
Figure 7 shows one of the possible set-ups, where the gamma-spectrometer is mounted behind the car at 1 m height above the ground and the GPR antennas and EM38DD are pulled behind the tractor. As another possible set-up 4 fluxgate magnetometers can be mounted on the last sledge. An accurate positioning is achieved by a Differential GPS, where the rover GPS is mounted on the sledge or on the roof of the car.
The measurements are presented by areal maps of topography (GPS), apparent electrical conductivity (EM38DD, vertical and horizontal components), apparent magnetic susceptibility (EM38DD, vertical and horizontal components), anomalous magnetic intensity (fluxgate magnetometers), radioelement concentrations (gamma-spectrometer, 4 components) and reflection data (GPR). Figure 8 shows the output of an exemplary multisensor survey at a glacial till in Lindhof, near Kiel, Germany. The maps reveal higher electrical conductivity and radioelement concentrations in the east, which indicates higher clay content in this part of the area. This was confimed by soil sampling.

Multisensor system

Figure 7: Multisensor system with gamma-spectrometer mounted behind the car and two sledges equipped with GPR antennas and the EM38DD that are pulled behind a tractor.

Resulting maps of multisensor system

Figure 8: Resulting maps of topography, magnetic intensity, apparent electrical conductivities and radioelement concentrations.

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Important Information

Project ended in November 2011

CWA 16373 "Best Practice Approach for electromagnetic induction measurements of the near surface" is published and available at CEN or DIN Berlin

iSOIL data are available at

iSOIL is a member of the SOIL TECHNOLOGY CLUSTER of Research Projects funded by the EC

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