Submitted to: Proceedings of SPIE
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2004
Publication Date: 8/2/2004
Citation: Sullivan, D.G., Shaw, J.N., Mask, P.L., Rickman, D., Luvall, J., Wersinger, J.M. 2004. Remote sensing of near-surface soil properties with the airborne terrestrial applications sensor. Proceedings of SPIE. In: Tech Summary Digest, 2004 SPIE 49th Anniv. Meeting; International Symposium on Optical Science & Technology, Denver, CO. PP2-6. August 2004.
Interpretive Summary: Estimates of surface soil properties on a timely basis may provide critical information regarding natural resource inventories, soil survey mapping and site-specific management of agrochemicals. Point-based sampling methods provide essential pieces of information regarding soil attributes, but are largely inappropriate for monitoring changes in spatially and temporally dynamic near-surface soil attributes at local and regional scales. The objective of this study was to evaluate high-resolution airborne imagery as a tool to depict small differences in near-surface (0 - 1 cm) particle size distribution, soil organic carbon and iron oxide content in three different physiographic regions. Results showed that soil properties were highly correlated and mixed spectral signatures complicated our ability to identify discrete spectral response patterns soil attributes, rather differences were primarily attributable to a change in the magnitude of response only. However, using thermal infrared (TIR) data, this study provides evidence that thermal spectra are more sensitive to small changes in near'surface mineral, organic and water content.
Technical Abstract: Evaluation of near-surface soil properties via remote sensing (RS) could facilitate soil survey mapping, erosion prediction, fertilization regimes, and allocation of agrochemicals. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between soil spectral signature and near surface soil properties in conventionally managed row crop systems. High-resolution RS data were acquired over bare fields in the Coastal Plain, Appalachian Plateau, and Ridge and Valley provinces of Alabama using the Airborne Terrestrial Applications Sensor (ATLAS) multispectral scanner. Soils ranged from sandy Kandiudults to fine textured Rhodudults. Surface soil samples (0-1 cm) were collected from 163 sampling points for soil water content, soil organic carbon (SOC), particle size distribution (PSD), and citrate dithionite extractable iron (Fed) content. Results showed that covariance among soil properties combined with mixed signatures limited our ability to identify discrete spectral response patterns for near-surface soil attributes. Dry, sandy epipedons at the Coastal Plain site provided ideal conditions and allowed for better discrimination among soil properties. Using ATLAS thermal infrared (TIR) bands, this study provides evidence that thermal spectra are more sensitive to small changes in near 'surface mineral, organic and water content.