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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 50 No. 1, p. 120-123
    Received: Mar 18, 1985
    Accepted: Sept 16, 1985

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Simultaneous Determination of Moisture, Organic Carbon, and Total Nitrogen by Near Infrared Reflectance Spectrophotometry1

  1. R. C. Dalal and
  2. R. J. Henry2



Near infrared diffuse reflectance spectrophotometry, within the wavelength range 1100 to 2500 nm, was investigated for use in the simultaneous prediction of the moisture, organic C, and total N contents of air-dried soils. An infraAlyzer 500 C (Technicon Instruments Corp.) scanning spectrophotometer was used to obtain near infrared reflectance of soils at 2-nm intervals. Calibration equations for each of the soil constituents studied were based upon selection of the best combination of three wavelengths in a multiple regression analysis. The wavelengths selected for moisture, organic C, and total N, respectively, were 1926, 1954, and 2150 nm, 1744, 1870 and 2052 nm, and 1702, 1870 and 2052 nm. The standard errors of prediction for finely ground samples (<0.25 mm) from the top layers (0-0.1, 0.1-0.2, 0.2-0.3, 0.3-0.6 m) were 0.58, 0.16, and 0.014% for moisture, organic C, and total N, respectively. The standard errors of prediction, however, were much larger for coarsely ground soils (<2 mm), soils containing low amounts of organic C (<0.3%) and total N (<0.03%), and for those with a wide range in colors. Within a narrow range in soil color and at moderate amounts of organic matter (0.3–2.5%C), the near infrared reflectance technique provides a rapid, nondestructive, and simultaneous measurement of moisture, organic C and total N in soils

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