Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Color analysis rapidly predicts carbon content of soil

13.03.2007
Scientists report in the Soil Science Society of America Journal that soil color can be as accurate as the lab for carbon content

Scientists at Iowa Sate University recently discovered that simply looking at soil color is reasonably as accurate as time-consuming and expensive laboratory tests. Soil color can be used as a simple, inexpensive method to predict measurements of soil organic content (SOC). These measurements provide a lens through which researchers can assess soil quality and better understand global carbon cycles. Proper modeling of global carbon cycles and monitoring of carbon sequestration require wide-spread, accurate assessments of soil carbon contents.

The researchers compared field and laboratory measurements to determine the color and the organic content of soil samples from cultivated and native land in northeast Iowa.

"Soil color is one of the most obvious features of soil and organic matter has long been known as one of the primary pigmenting agents in soil," said Skye Willis, lead author of the Iowa State study that was published in the March-April issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Soil field descriptions made in the U.S. are based upon the Munsell color system – field scientists match soil color to standardized color chips based upon hue, chroma, and value. Additional laboratory tests, such as the chroma meter, offer rapid quantification of soil color. In general, darker soil colors indicate more SOC is present.

To test the efficiency of color analysis as a measure of SOC content on different landscapes, scientists collected soil samples from an agricultural field and an adjacent native prairie in northeast Iowa. Scientists analyzed the color of soil samples using three tests:

- Soil cores were split in half and matched to a color chip in a Munsell Soil Color Book

- The matrix color of soil layers were described according to Munsell Soil Book

- Soil was ground and analyzed by a chroma meter, an instrument used to digitally record the color reflectance of soil sample.

From these three assessments, scientists determined the soil color (represented by hue, value and chroma) and predicted the SOC content.

According to Willis, "We found that typical description colors done by a soil scientist were nearly as effective in predicting SOC as the more expensive and tedious method of deriving colors by a chroma meter."

Color analysis is capable of predicting SOC values more accurately in common land areas (agricultural fields) in comparison to less common land areas (native prairies). Additional studies are needed to better predict SOC under native soil conditions.

This rapid SOC measurement will increase the understanding, prediction, and modeling efficiency of carbon distribution across fields, watersheds, and larger regions as the current methods of characterizing SOC are costly and time-consuming. As an alternative to direct measurements of SOC, soil color can be used as an efficient predictor of SOC soil contents.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org
http://www.crops.org
http:// www.soils.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cereals use chemical defenses in a multifunctional manner against different herbivores
06.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht Can rice filter water from ag fields?
05.12.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>