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An Evaluation of Different NIR-Spectral Pre-Treatments to Derive the Soil Parameters C and N of a Humus-Clay-Rich Soil (2021)

Heil K., Schmidhalter U.

Sensors, 21 (4), 1423

doi:10.3390/s21041423

Abstract

Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) was successfully used in this study to measure soil properties, mainly C and N, requiring spectral pre-treatments. Calculations in this evaluation were carried out using multivariate statistical procedures with preceding pre-treatment procedures of the spectral data. Such transformations could remove noise, highlight features, and extract essential wavelengths for quantitative predictions. This frequently significantly improved the predictions. Since selecting the appropriate transformation was not straightforward due to the large numbers of available methods, more comprehensive insight into choosing appropriate and optimized pre-treatments was required. Therefore, the objectives of this study were (i) to compare various pre-processing transformations of spectral data to determine their suitability for modeling soil C and N using NIR spectra (55 pre-treatment procedures were tested), and (ii) to determine which wavelengths were most important for the prediction of C and N. The investigations were carried out on an arable field in South Germany with a soil type of Calcaric Fluvic Relictigleyic Phaeozem (Epigeoabruptic and Pantoclayic), created in the flooding area of the Isar River. The best fit and highest model accuracy for the C (Ct, Corg, and Ccarb) and N models in the calibration and validation modes were achieved using derivations with Savitzky–Golay (SG). This enabled us to calculate the Ct, Corg, and N with an R2 higher than 0.98/0.86 and an ratio of performance to the interquartile range (RPIQ) higher than 10.9/4.1 (calibration/validation). Intelligence for Soil