The potential of field spectroscopy for the determination of sediment properties in river floodplains

L. Kooistra, J. Wanders, G.F. Epema, R.S.E.W. Leuven, H.R.M.J. Wehrens, L.M.C. Buydens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Investigations have shown that visible-near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy can accurately determine soil properties under laboratory conditions. In situ assessment of soil properties is of great benefit for several applications, as spectra can be acquired fast and almost continuously. The present study used partial least squares (PLS) regression to establish a relationship between soil reflectance spectra measured under field conditions and the organic matter and clay content of the soil. Spectra were acquired with a fieldspectrometer in a recently reconstructed floodplain along the river Rhine in The Netherlands. Several spectral pre-processing methods were employed to improve the performance and robustness of the models. Results indicate that, under varying surface conditions, field spectroscopy in combination with multivariate calibration does result in a qualitative relation for organic matter (R2=0.45) and clay content (R2=0.43) while under laboratory conditions more accurate results are obtained (R2=0.69 and 0.92, respectively). Soil moisture and vegetation cover had a negative influence on the prediction capabilities for both soil properties. Although the performance of the spectra measured in situ is not as accurate as physical analysis, the accuracy obtained is useful for rapid soil characterisation and remote sensing applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-200
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • soil properties
  • geological sedimentation
  • floodplains
  • rivers
  • spectroscopy
  • clay
  • organic matter
  • netherlands
  • soil quality
  • river rhine
  • diffuse-reflectance spectroscopy
  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • organic-matter
  • contamination
  • calibration
  • networks


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