Estimation of several soil properties by near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

M.Todorova, S. Atanassova, H. Longer, D. Pavlov

Abstract. There is a great demand for involving rapid, non destructive and less time consuming methods for quick control and prediction of soil quality, environmental monitoring, and other precision measurements in agriculture. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy(NIRS)is considered as an appropriate alternative method to conventional analytical methods for large scale measurements. The objective of this study was to investigate the possibilities of NIRS for prediction of some chemical properties of soil samples. A total of 97 samples from Stara Zagora, Kazanlak and Gurkovo region taken from the 0-40 cm layer were collected. Soil types were Luvisols, Vertisols, Fluvisols and Rankers. The samples were analyzed for total phosphorus by spectrometric determination of phosphorus soluble in sodium hydrogen carbonate solution, total nitrogen by Kjeldahl method, pH (H O)-potentiometrically and electrical conductivity (EC). 2 The spectral data of all air dried samples were measured using an Perkin Elmer Spectrum One NTS, FT-NIR Spectrometer, within the range from 700 to 2500 nm. Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression was used to built models to determine soil chemical parameters from the NIR spectra. Two-third of the samples were used as a calibration set and the remaining samples as independent validation test set. The best model was obtained for total nitrogen with a coefficient of determination r=0,91, standard error of calibration SEP=336 mg/kg, and the ratio of the standard variation of the reference data to the SEP, indicating the performance of the calibration, of RPD=2,3. The accuracy of prediction was poor for electrical conductivity. The results obtained clearly indicated that NIRS had the potential to predict some soil components rapidly and without sample preparation.

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