Submitted to: European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2003
Publication Date: 6/20/2003
Citation: ALLRED, B.J., FAUSEY, N.R., DANIELS, J., EHSANI, R. APPLICATIONS OF NEAR-SURFACE GEOPHYSICAL METHODS TO AGRICULTURE IN THE MIDWEST U.S.A. PROCEEDINGS OF THE EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF GEOSCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS. 2003. CD-ROM. P. 336-349. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Near-surface geophysical methods can potentially be of great value to agriculture in the Midwest U.S.A. Enhancing the efficiency of soil water removal on agricultural land already containing a subsurface drainage system typically involves installing new drain lines between the old ones. However, before this approach can be attempted, the older drain lines need to be located. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) can provide a solution to this problem. In an extensive study at eleven test plots in southwest, central, and northwest Ohio, U.S.A., GPR was on average 81% effective in locating the total amount of subsurface drainage pipe present. Overall results indicate that GPR works remarkably well in detection of clay tile and corrugated plastic tubing drainage pipe down to depths of around 1 m within a variety of different soil materials. Another possible application of geophysical methods to Midwest U.S.A agriculture is in mapping soil electrical conductivity. Mapped variations in soil electrical conductivity often correlate well with spatial changes in properties that are related to soil fertility. Three different geophysical techniques for mapping soil electrical conductivity were investigated at three different test plots. Comparison of results from the three different techniques showed similarities and differences. Most importantly, soil moisture, a transient factor, did not have as great of an impact on the electrical conductivity response as did soil properties. Consequently, although more research is needed, it appears that given the proper circumstances, near-surface geophysical methods can provide significant assistance to agriculture in the Midwest U.S.A.