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Determining Trafficked Areas Using Soil Electrical Conductivity – A Pilot Study

Galambošová, Jana, Macák, Miroslav, Rataj, Vladimír, Barát, Marek, Misiewicz, Paula
Acta technologica agriculturae 2020 v.23 no.1 pp. 1-6
rapid methods, resistance to penetration, silty clay soils, soil compaction, soil electrical conductivity, soil structure, subsoil, topsoil, traffic, water content
Increase in machinery size and its random traffic at fields cause soil compaction resulting in damage of soil structure and degradation of soil functions. Nowadays, rapid methods to detect soil compaction at fields are of high interest, especially proximal sensing methods such as electrical conductivity measurements. The aim of this work was to investigate whether electromagnetic induction (EMI) could be used to determine trafficked areas in silty clay soil. Results of randomized block experiment showed a high significant difference (p <0.01) in EMI data measured between compacted and non-compacted areas. EMI readings from compacted areas were, on average, 11% (shallow range) and 9% (deep range) higher than non-compacted areas, respectively. This difference was determined in both shallow and deep measuring ranges, indicating that the difference in soil compaction was detected in both topsoil and subsoil. Furthermore, the data was found to have a significant spatial variability, suggesting that, in order to detect the increase in EMI (which shows the increase in soil compaction), data within close surrounding area should be included in the analyses. Correlation coefficient of EMI and penetration resistance (average moisture content 32.5% and 30.8% for topsoil and subsoil) was found to be 0.66.