About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Book: Soil Color
Published by: Soil Science Society of America


This chapter in SOIL COLOR

  1.  p. 35-49
    SSSA Special Publication 31.
    Soil Color

    J. M. Bigham and E. J. Ciolkosz (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-926-8


Request Permissions


Correlations Between Field and Laboratory Measurements of Soil Color

  1. Donald F. Post,
  2. R.B. Bryant,
  3. A.K. Batchily,
  4. A.R. Huete,
  5. S.J. Levine,
  6. M.D. Mays and
  7. R. Escadafal
  1. University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, Nebraska
    ORSTROM, Bondy, France


We prepared sets of <2 mm soil samples, distributed them to soil scientists, and asked them to determine the dry and moist Munsell color of each soil. We observed that soil scientists agreed on the same color chip for a single color component (hue, value, or chroma) 71% of the time, and there was an average of 52% agreement for all three color components. The standard deviation (SD) varied from 0.45 (value-moist) to 0.68 (chroma-moist) with an average SD of 0.57. Regression equations were computed that compared the mean soil color with the nearest color chip noted by an individual soil scientist, and the coefficient of simple determination (r2 ) ranged from 0.49 (chroma-moist) to 0.79 (value-moist and dry). When “in-between” colors were estimated the r2 improved and ranged from 0.70 (chroma-moist) to 0.95 (value-moist). A detailed evaluation was made of data from a commercial tristimulus colorimeter, and results were compared to colors described by soil scientists. The r2 ranged from 0.88 (chroma-moist) to 0.96 (value-dry); however the slopes and intercepts were different. Commercial colorimeters have great potential as tools for measuring soil colors, but field colors by soil scientists are not identical to instrumental data. They differ because the sensor, light source, and angle of light refraction are different for each color measurement method. The inherent complexity of color identification by humans vs. instrumental measurements is also a contributing factor.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 1993. Copyright © 1993 by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA