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ARS Home » Plains Area » Akron, Colorado » Central Great Plains Resources Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #299015


Location: Central Great Plains Resources Management Research

Title: Soil chemical insights provided through vibrational spectroscopy

item Parikh, Sanjai - University Of California
item Goyne, Keith - University Of Missouri
item Margenot, Andrew - University Of California
item Mukome, Fungai - University Of California
item Calderon, Francisco

Submitted to: Advances in Agronomy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/2014
Publication Date: 5/6/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Parikh, S., Goyne, K.W., Margenot, A.J., Mukome, F., Calderon, F.J. 2014. Soil chemical insights provided through vibrational spectroscopy. Advances in Agronomy. Available:

Interpretive Summary: This is a review of the state of the science dealing with the application of vibrational spectroscopy to the study of soils. This technology measures the absorption of infrared light from soil samples and can determine important chemical attributes quickly and relatively inexpensively. The different modes of vibrational spectroscopy can be used to study many important parameters in soils, including soil organic matter as well as mineral compostion. A thorough review of what has been done in the field is included, as well as the presentation of new data and discussion of future approaches.

Technical Abstract: Vibrational spectroscopy techniques provide a powerful approach to study environmental materials and processes. These multifunctional analysis tools can be used to probe molecular vibrations of solid, liquid, and gaseous samples for characterizing materials, elucidating reaction mechanisms, and examining kinetic processes. Although Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is the most prominent type of vibrational spectroscopy used in the field of soil science, applications of Raman spectroscopy to study environmental samples continue to increase. The ability of FTIR and Raman spectroscopies to provide complementary information for organic and inorganic materials makes them ideal approaches for soil science research. In addition, the ability to conduct in situ, real time, vibrational spectroscopy experiments to probe biogeochemical processes at mineral interfaces provides a unique and versatile approach for revealing a myriad of soil chemical phenomena. This review provides a comprehensive review of vibrational spectroscopy techniques and highlights many of the applications of their use in soil chemistry research.