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Open AccessArticle

Soil Moisture Mapping Using Multi-Frequency and Multi-Coil Electromagnetic Induction Sensors on Managed Podzols

1
School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, NL A2H 5G4, Canada
2
Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Pasadena, NL A0L 1K0, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2018, 8(10), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8100224
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Irrigation)
Precision agriculture (PA) involves the management of agricultural fields including spatial information of soil properties derived from apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) measurements. While this approach is gaining much attention in agricultural management, farmed podzolic soils are under-represented in the relevant literature. This study: (i) established the relationship between ECa and soil moisture content (SMC) measured using time domain reflectometry (TDR); and (ii) evaluated the estimated SMC with ECa measurements obtained with two electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensors, i.e., multi-coil and multi-frequency, using TDR measured SMC. Measurements were taken on several plots at Pynn’s Brook Research Station, Pasadena, Newfoundland, Canada. The means of ECa measurements were calculated for the same sampling location in each plot. The linear regression models generated for SMC using the CMD-MINIEXPLORER were statistically significant with the highest R2 of 0.79 and the lowest RMSE (root mean square error) of 0.015 m3 m−3 but were not significant for GEM-2 with the lowest R2 of 0.17 and RMSE of 0.045 m3 m−3; this was due to the difference in the depth of investigation between the two EMI sensors. The validation of the SMC regression models for the two EMI sensors produced the highest R2 = 0.54 with the lowest RMSE prediction = 0.031 m3 m−3 given by CMD-MINIEXPLORER. The result demonstrated that the CMD-MINIEXPLORER based measurements better predicted shallow SMC, while deeper SMC was better predicted by GEM-2 measurements. In addition, the ECa measurements obtained through either multi-coil or multi-frequency sensors have the potential to be successfully employed for SMC mapping at the field scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: apparent electrical conductivity; precision agriculture; soil moisture content; electromagnetic induction apparent electrical conductivity; precision agriculture; soil moisture content; electromagnetic induction
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Badewa, E.; Unc, A.; Cheema, M.; Kavanagh, V.; Galagedara, L. Soil Moisture Mapping Using Multi-Frequency and Multi-Coil Electromagnetic Induction Sensors on Managed Podzols. Agronomy 2018, 8, 224.

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