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Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2540; doi:10.3390/s17112540

The Application of EM38: Determination of Soil Parameters, Selection of Soil Sampling Points and Use in Agriculture and Archaeology

Chair of Plant Nutrition, Technical University of Munich, D-85350 Freising, Emil-Ramann-Str. 2, Germany
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Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 7 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Germany)
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Abstract

Fast and accurate assessment of within-field variation is essential for detecting field-wide heterogeneity and contributing to improvements in the management of agricultural lands. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of field scale characterization by electromagnetic induction, firstly with a focus on the applications of EM38 to salinity, soil texture, water content and soil water turnover, soil types and boundaries, nutrients and N-turnover and soil sampling designs. Furthermore, results concerning special applications in agriculture, horticulture and archaeology are included. In addition to these investigations, this survey also presents a wide range of practical methods for use. Secondly, the effectiveness of conductivity readings for a specific target in a specific locality is determined by the intensity at which soil factors influence these values in relationship to the desired information. The interpretation and utility of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) readings are highly location- and soil-specific, so soil properties influencing the measurement of ECa must be clearly understood. From the various calibration results, it appears that regression constants for the relationships between ECa, electrical conductivity of aqueous soil extracts (ECe), texture, yield, etc., are not necessarily transferable from one region to another. The modelling of ECa, soil properties, climate and yield are important for identifying the location to which specific utilizations of ECa technology (e.g., ECatexture relationships) can be appropriately applied. In general, the determination of absolute levels of ECa is frequently not possible, but it appears to be quite a robust method to detect relative differences, both spatially and temporally. Often, the use of ECa is restricted to its application as a covariate or the use of the readings in a relative sense rather than as absolute terms. View Full-Text
Keywords: EM38; apparent electrical conductivity; soil mapping; yield variability and management zones; soil sampling schemes; soil types EM38; apparent electrical conductivity; soil mapping; yield variability and management zones; soil sampling schemes; soil types
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Heil, K.; Schmidhalter, U. The Application of EM38: Determination of Soil Parameters, Selection of Soil Sampling Points and Use in Agriculture and Archaeology. Sensors 2017, 17, 2540.

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