Temporal stability of electrical conductivity in a sandy soil
 
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Publish date: 2016-07-21
 
Int. Agrophys. 2016, 30(3): 349–357
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ABSTRACT
Understanding of soil spatial variability is needed to delimit areas for precision agriculture. Electromagnetic induction sensors which measure the soil apparent electrical conductivity reflect soil spatial variability. The objectives of this work were to see if a temporally stable component could be found in electrical conductivity, and to see if temporal stability information acquired from several electrical conductivity surveys could be used to better interpret the results of concurrent surveys of electrical conductivity and soil water content. The experimental work was performed in a commercial rainfed olive grove of 6.7 ha in the ‘La Manga’ catchment in SW Spain. Several soil surveys provided gravimetric soil water content and electrical conductivity data. Soil electrical conductivity values were used to spatially delimit three areas in the grove, based on the first principal component, which represented the time-stable dominant spatial electrical conductivity pattern and explained 86% of the total electrical conductivity variance. Significant differences in clay, stone and soil water contents were detected between the three areas. Relationships between electrical conductivity and soil water content were modelled with an exponential model. Parameters from the model showed a strong effect of the first principal component on the relationship between soil water content and electrical conductivity. Overall temporal stability of electrical conductivity reflects soil properties and manifests itself in spatial patterns of soil water content.
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