Progesses in proximal soil sensing techniques for mapping and monitoring
Soil mapping and monitoring is traditionally based on direct invasive methods of investigation. In particular, quantitative assessment is often based on one or a few mixed soil samples brought to the lab. Over recent years, new methods have been developed to improve our ability to investigate soil on-site in non-invasive ways, or with a very limited impact on soil disturbance. Such approach has given rise to a new field of research: proximal soil sensing (PSS). This is defined as the investigation of soil just below, at, or maximally within 2 m above its surface. The main driver of PSS is to obtain soil data at very high spatial and/or temporal resolution within a short time at reasonable costs. This way PSS contributes to the understanding of variability of soils in space and time. Particular applications are precision agriculture, archaeology, environmental protection, and landscape modelling. The methods applied are versatile, they range from geophysical methods such as electromagnetic induction of ground penetrating radar to chemical analytical methods which have been modified to operate under field conditions, such as pH-meter or field soil spectroscopy. The relevance of this approach was recognized by the International Union of Soil Sciences by creating a dedicated working group on this topic: the Working Group on Proximal Soil Sensing. This symposium, supported by the IUSS working group on Proximal Soil Sensing, proposes to discuss the latest evolution in this new field and provide a forum for relevant discussions and interactions with a wider geological community.
Simone Priori, Marc Van Meirvenne, Bo Stenberg and Kristin Piikki