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3D spectral analysis in the VNIR–SWIR spectral region as a tool for soil classification

Ogen, Yaron, Goldshleger, Naftaly, Ben-Dor, Eyal
Geoderma 2017
air drying, algorithms, clay fraction, soil classification, soil horizons, soil profiles, soil sampling, soil surveys, soil types, spatial data, spectral analysis, spectrometers, spectroscopy
Visible, near-infrared and shortwave-infrared (VNIR–SWIR) spectroscopy has proven to be an efficient, rapid and low-cost method for soil spectral analysis that can improve on the results obtained from today's traditional methods of conducting soil surveys. Nonetheless, this tool is used mostly in the laboratory and at surface level. The main objective of this paper is to develop a new optical method for characterizing soil profiles, towards improving the efficiency and accuracy of the traditional soil survey. We used airborne hyperspectral data from the AisaFENIX sensor for surface classification and ASD spectral measurements of soil samples for subsurface analysis. A total of 643 soil samples were extracted from 48 cores, each core representing a soil profile. All samples were air-dried, crushed and sieved, and then analyzed by ASD spectrometer under laboratory conditions. Clay content was also measured to provide additional information. The 3D spectral data were analyzed using SAM algorithm, spectral gradient (m), k-means clustering and gley horizon parameter (G) to classify soils and distinguish between soil horizons in each core. The results suggest that these parameters can provide satisfactory results both from laboratory measurements and hyperspectral remote sensing data (R2=0.81 for clay content and R2=0.78 for gleying conditions) in order to distinguish between the soil horizons using 3D spectral information. Moreover, the method is satisfactory for obtaining soil types from 3D spectral sensing as well as evaluating the catena development and other spatial soil distributions.