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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 4, p. 752-755
    Received: Oct 28, 1974
    Accepted: Mar 12, 1975

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Reflectance Differences Between Crop Residues and Bare Soils1

  1. H. W. Gausman,
  2. A. H. Gerbermann,
  3. C. L. Wiegand,
  4. R. W. Leamer,
  5. R. R. Rodriguez and
  6. J. R. Noriega2



To find the best spectral waveband for identifying crop residues by remote sensing, reflectance spectra of standing and littered crop residues were compared, and the utility of ERTS-1 Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data for distinguishing soils with crop residues from bare soils was tested.

Field spectroradiometric investigations were conducted using the 0.5- to 1.8-µm waveband. Crop residue littered on the soil had higher reflectance than bare soil, but standing crop residue had lower reflectance than bare soil.

The ERTS-1 MSS digital counts (signal strengths) were statistically different between soils with and without crop residues more times (8 out of 12) for band 4 (0.5 to 0.6 µm) than for bands 5 (0.6 to 0.7 µm), 6 (0.7 to 0.8 µm), and 7 (0.8 to 1.1 µ), or for band ratios 4/7, 5/7, 4/6, and 5/6. Statistically, for band 4, soils with crop residues had lower reflectance than bare soils five out of eight times.

Present reflectance techniques are unable to distinguish quantities of crop residue on the soil, and better parameters are needed to describe crop residues.

Additional study of ERTS-1 MSS data relating crop residues to wind and water erosion susceptibility of the soil is merited.

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