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Spatial and temporal characterization of soil strength with Remote Sensing

Student:Irena Ymeti
Timeline:August 2013 - 1 August 2018

Soil is a natural resource that must be preserved and managed well for the future generations. Nowadays, assessment and monitoring of natural processes through Remote Sensing (RS) technology is become a necessity. Our ability to identify, to estimate and to map environmental concern, including soil surface changes, in an efficient way should be a priority. It is already known that ground-based methods are time-consuming and expensive. Within different spatial, temporal and spectral resolution RS provides continuous data that are suitable for assessment and monitoring of environmental conditions. In soil RS community, the spectral and spatial resolution are dominant whereas the temporal resolution is left behind. However, changes in soil surface such as aggregate breakdown could occur over a short period of time. To monitor these changes it is important to understand the interaction between soil surface and the surrounding environment at high temporal resolution. Therefore, in this research we investigated the capability of a Single-lens reflex (SLR) camera to monitor in a straightforward and cost-effective way soil aggregate breakdown in soils of different texture classes under natural conditions at a micro-plot scale at daily basis using spectral, textural and object based image analysis.

Many soil properties which affect soil aggregate breakdown are estimated via RS using VIS-NIR-SWIR spectrum in a fast, non-destructive and cost-effective way. Using a SPECIM hyperspectral camera under controlled laboratory condition, we aim to detect and estimate soil aggregate changes over time. Soil susceptible to water erosion, such as silty loam with various amount of organic matter content, are placedĀ  to dry, field capacity and wetting conditions for 72 hours. After 72 hours the soil samples are scanned with the hyperspectral camera. This procedure is repeated for eight weeks. At the same laboratory conditions, another experiment is performed where new soil samples are exposed to freezing-thawing cycles. Again, soil samples are scanned with SPECIM camera each 72 hours for eight weeks. Finding an appropriate method for monitoring and change detection of soil aggregate using hyperspectral data is required. Moreover, our focus will be on quantifying soil aggregate break down using hyperspectral imagery.

Meet the team

I. Ymeti (Irena)
Graduate Student
prof.dr. F.D. van der Meer (Freek)
dr. H.M.A. van der Werff (Harald)
Research theme

Combine earth science knowledge with spatial modelling and advanced earth observation analysis, to improve our understanding of the impact of climate and population change on the scarceness of resources and energy, changing natural hazards and increased vulnerability and risk of our society.

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