Topic ID: MT1

Good knowledge of the present status of agricultural soils: Innovative techniques for high-detail mapping soil spatial variation

Rationale

Soil is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic constituents with different physical, chemical and biological properties, that shows large variability from site to site or even within the same field. Space-borne and airborne remote (hereafter as “remote”) sensing has several benefits such as obtaining soil surface and topsoil information from large areas, providing information for inaccessible areas, providing additional data (e.g. status of vegetation), consistent temporal resolution for the creation of time series, short revisit time and providing freely available data.

Remote surveys have the advantage to get a more exhaustive evaluation of spatial variation than with on-site sampling methods. To map larger areas for accurate estimation of SOC and other soil characteristics these methods still require improvements aiming to enhance their resolution and to reduce impacts of artefacts induced by soil roughness, moisture and vegetation litter.

Although several attempts to improve the accuracy of remotely mapped soil properties were undertaken, none of these approaches is capable to assess soil properties in the desired resolution and accuracy. Combining these technologies into a EU observation network could also interestingly rely on participatory science approaches providing field observations for calibration and testing or for increasing mapping resolution.

Scope

This project will focus on developing and testing these novel technologies for measuring soil characteristics (e.g. soil salinity, SOC) and soil evaluation, in the different environmental zones and soil types in Europe.

Output/Expected impact: Novel technologies available for measuring soil characteristics and evaluating soils

Project type: Two / medium size projects / per project 150 PM

Available funding: 2*1.73 M€