Near-surface geophysical methods have become increasingly important tools in applied agricultural practices and studies. The great advantage of geophysical methods is their potential rapidity, low cost, and spatial continuity when compared to more traditional methods of assessing agricultural land, such as sample collection and laboratory analysis. Agricultural geophysics investigations commonly focus on obtaining information within the soil profile, which generally does not extend much beyond 2 meters beneath the ground surface. Although the depth of interest oftentimes is rather shallow, the area covered by an agricultural geophysics survey can vary widely in scale, from experimental plots (10 s to 100 s of square meters), to farm fields (10 s to 100 s of hectares), up to the size of watersheds (10 s to 100 s of square kilometers). To date, three predominant methods—resistivity, electromagnetic induction (EMI), and ground-penetrating radar (GPR)—have been used to obtain surface-based geophysical measurements within agricultural settings. However, a recent conference on agricultural geophysics (Bouyoucos Conference on Agricultural Geophysics, September 8–10, 2009, Albuquerque, New Mexico; www.ag-geophysics.org) illustrated that other geophysical methods are being applied or developed. These include airborne electromagnetic induction, magnetometry, seismic, and self-potential methods. Agricultural geophysical studies are also being linked to ground water studies that utilize deeper penetrating geophysical methods than normally used.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Introduction to the JEEG Agricultural Geophysics Special Issue|
|Series title||Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics|
|Publisher||Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society|
|Contributing office(s)||Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center|