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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Using Ground-Penetrating Radar to Update Soil Survey Information


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 52 No. 3, p. 746-752
    Received: June 29, 1987

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. G. W. Schellentrager ,
  2. J. A. Doolittle,
  3. T. E. Calhoun and
  4. C. A. Wettstein
  1. USDA-SCS, 69 Union St., Winooski, VT 05404
    USDA-SCS, Chester, PA
    USDA-SCS, Washington, DC
    USDA-SCS, College Park, MD



Rapid changes in land use in many areas of the USA, and evolving concepts of soils and soil mapping have resulted in the need to update information gathered as part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program. In Florida, because of optimum soil conditions, large amounts of soils information can be gathered at a rapid rate by using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The information is being used to update soil surveys. Soil maps of the older soil survey report were evaluated first in order to determine if the map unit delineations consistently separate mappable landform and vegetative features. Using GPR, transects were made within randomly selected map unit delineations. Soils were identified and classified using conventional methods and their respective proportion and distribution along the transects were determined using the GPR imagery. These data were statistically analyzed to estimate the variability and composition of closely similar soils within each map unit and to justify correlation decisions. These data are presented in descriptive as well as tabular form in the published soil surveys. When compared to costs for traditional methods, the costs for updating soil survey information with GPR were dramatically reduced.

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