Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Geographical information systems (GIS) are able to store and manipulate vast amounts of spatial data and are ideally suited to the investigation of non-point source pollution of water. However to be effective, a GIS needs accurate databases (both in parameter magnitude and spatial resolution) for the key soil, climate, and management attributes that affect agrichemical fate and transport. Collection of these data is the most costly and time consuming step in applying GIS. The quality of these databases is often the limiting factor in the success of GIS application to non-point source pollution. In recent years, several new approaches have been developed and tested for inexpensive and rapid data collection of soil attributes that are important in determining agrichemical fate and transport. Of these methods, ground penetrating radar and electromagnetic induction appear particularly well suited for rapid site characterization. These methods have been used for reconnaissance mapping to guide subsequent intensive sampling, have been used to measure surrogate variables in place of more difficult-to-measure variables, and to collect ancillary data used to improve the spatial mapping of soil attributes. A brief description of these two methods is given, and an illustration is presented to show how geophysical methods can be used to improve a spatial database of soil organic carbon.