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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2511; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122511

Application of RFID to Soil-Erosion Research

1
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
2
Department of Geography and Planning, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK
3
Center for Research in Isotopes and Environmental Dynamics, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305-8577, Japan
4
Center for Advanced Research Facility, National Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Tsukuba 305-0006, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative RFID Applications)
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Abstract

Soil erosion is a problem of global significance; yet obtaining data on rates of soil erosion is not straightforward. Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) offers the prospect of improvements in estimates of these rates through better understanding of the movement of individual soil particles. We report on two laboratory experiments to measure the travel distances of surrogate soil particles during erosion events. In the first experiment, we used RFID tags that need to be placed within a reader for identification. In the second, we used tags with a booster antenna that allowed remote detection. The recovery rate of particles in the first experiment was 81.7%. Most likely, lost particles were buried by other moving sediment. The distribution of travel distances is well fitted by a Burr 4-parameter distribution which lends support to its use for modelling travel distances of eroded particles. In the second experiment, the average distance from which particles could be detected was 62 mm and the average error in locating particles was 17.9 mm. We attribute much of this error to the assumptions that the detection field is a circle on the ground with the reader at its centre, and that the same detection range exists for all positions of the reader. RFID is shown to provide insights into the movement of individual soil particles, but improvements are needed in both particle detection range and modelling of soil particle movement before the full potential of RFID for measuring soil erosion can be realized. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil erosion; particle tracking; RFID soil erosion; particle tracking; RFID
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Parsons, A.; Cooper, J.; Onda, Y.; Sakai, N. Application of RFID to Soil-Erosion Research. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 2511.

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