Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2009
Publication Date: August 5, 2010
Citation: Kitchen, N.R., Sudduth, K.A., Kremer, R.J., Myers, D.B. 2010. Sensor-based mapping of soil quality on degraded claypan landscapes of the central United States. In: Viscarra Rossel, R. A., McBratney, Alex B., and Minasny, B. Proximal Soil Sensing, Volume 1. New York: Springer. p. 363-373. Technical Abstract: Claypan soils (Epiaqualfs) in the central USA have experienced severe erosion as a result of tillage practices of the late 1800s and 1900s. Because of the site-specific nature of erosion processes within claypan fields, research is needed to achieve cost-effective sensing and mapping of soil and landscape properties that quantify the soil’s current ability to produce crops and provide ecosystem services- the concepts of soil quality. In this research ECa sensors, aerial imagery, yield mapping, and a horizontally-operated penetrometer were used for high resolution mapping of soil quality indicators on a 36-ha claypan soil field in Missouri. Field areas experiencing the most erosion now have reduced grain production, lower plant available water capacity (PAWC), and slower infiltration. These same areas have higher soil penetration resistance (at 30 cm), yet greater sub-soil nutrients. The conclusion of this synthesis is that combining sensor-based information provides a much clearer picture of spatially-important characteristics of claypan soil quality, and can be used by land managers to target remediation of degraded soils and implement precision conservation practices.