Soil mapping

Using a gamma-ray spectrometer

The purpose of soil and sediment mapping

Understanding the composition of soil is crucial for a range of professionals, including soil scientists, agronomists, environmental scientists, and farmers. This knowledge is used to develop strategies for water resilience in rural areas, devise plans for site remediation, and implement precision farming techniques.

Ways of soil mapping

Traditionally, soil mapping involved collecting samples from specific fields, which were then analyzed in laboratories and presented on maps with measurement points. However, this method provided limited insights into the true heterogeneity of the area. Thankfully, gamma-ray spectrometers have proven to be a powerful tool in soil property mapping, enabling the digital mapping of soil texture and revealing the genuine diversity within a field.

Soil composition scientists
Gamma-ray spectronomy for mapping

The Medusa Radiometrics gamma-ray spectrometers revolutionize the field of soil property mapping, by giving spatially detailed information of soil texture at an unpreceded ease of use. Our extensive research over the past decades has revealed a strong correlation between the concentration of naturally occurring radionuclides and soil properties such as clay and sand content, mineral composition, and soil classes. By using just a few calibration samples, our gamma-ray spectrometer can generate highly detailed soil maps.

Whats sets the Medusa sensors apart

Featuring an easy-to-use interface, integrated RTK-GPS for precise positioning, and compatibility with walking surveys, vehicle-based surveys, and even aerial drones, our spectrometer offers unmatched convenience and efficiency. Its robust construction ensures reliable and accurate measurements, even in challenging field conditions, making it the ideal tool for soil property mapping projects of any scale.

Quad borne gamma-ray measurement
Soil mapping in practice

In response to climate change, many fields in the Netherlands must be reshaped into water-buffering areas to mitigate the impacts of heavy rainfall. To develop accurate plans to change the agricultural terrains surrounding the Vledder Aa channel into wetlands, detailed information on the soil properties is essential. A recent project utilized the MS-1000 gamma-ray spectrometer, mounted on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), to map a vast 220-hectare terrain at an unprecedented resolution within just three days. The resulting soil map, particularly the representation of clay content (depicted in brown), highlights the former creek's location and showcased the spectrometer's exceptional level of detail. This successful application demonstrates how the gamma-ray spectrometer can provide the precise information needed for planning and executing soil-related projects with confidence.

Gamma-ray soil map

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