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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Electrical Resistivity Imaging to Quantify Spatial Soil Heterogeneit

item Guber, Andrey
item Hadzick, Zane
item Garzio-hadzick, Amanda
item Pachepsky, Yakov
item Hill, Robert
item Rowland, Randy
item Golovko, Larisa

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Guber, A.K., Hadzick, Z.Z., Garzio-Hadzick, A.M., Pachepsky, Y.A., Hill, R.L., Rowland, R.A., Golovko, L.A. Electrical Resistivity Imaging to Quantify Spatial Soil Heterogeneit. EOS supplemental, AGU 2008 -H51G940G..

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Electrical resistivity (ER) sounding is increasingly being used as non-invasive technique to reveal and map soil heterogeneity. The objective of this work was to evaluate effects of soil properties on the electric resistivity and to observe these effects in spatial context in coarse-textured soil. The studied soil had the loamy sand texture. The 20x20-m study plot was located at the ARS Beltsville OPE3 site. Relationship between ER, bulk density, and soil water contents was first studied in disturbed 80-cm3 soil samples taken at 10 depths with 20 cm increment. Soil water contents were brought to 6 predefined levels in each sample and were in the range from air dry to 0.27g g-1. Soil bulk density varied in the range from 1.28 g cm-3 to 1.45g cm-3. The ER in soil samples decreased as the gravimetric water content increased. The ER decrease became more pronounced as bulk density decreased. Next, soil samples were taken at field water contents from 10 depths at 12 locations. Particle size distributions, pH, water content and ER were measured in each sample. Bulk density values in part of the soil profiles below 80 cm ranged from 1.5 to 1.8 g cm-3 and no dependence between ER and water content could be established in this soil layer where the lowest values of ER were recorded. The increased conductivity of the soil solid phase could be a possible reason for that since soil in this part of the profile had pH values two or more units less than in the upper part. The lowest sand contents corresponded to highest ER values in this soil layer. Finally, the vertical electrical sounding (LandMapper ERM-02) was used to infer spatial distribution of soil resistivity along a 9-m transect for different dates when soil was dry and when it was relatively uniformly wetted with long low-intensity rain. The Wenner-Shlumberger array with 31-electrodes spaced 30-cm apart was used. Soil temperature and water content with multisensor capacitance probes (SENTEC) were monitored at 10 depths down to one meter during ER measurements. High spatial variability of ER was observed. Averaging ER data along the transect resulted in a good correspondence with data from soil samples as described above. The gradual increase in ER values from the surface to the depth of about one meter probably reflected the general increase in bulk density and changes in soil texture. The small ER values found at the lowest depths with sounding were similar to those observed in samples from large depths. Depending on the range of their values, both bulk density and soil texture apparently affected or did not affect the ER. Coupling the information on soil properties in the sounded profile with the sounding data appears to be useful for interpretation of general trends in sounding results.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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