Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics (JEEG)

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Current Issue December, 2022 Vol. 27.4

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Introduction to the Journal of Environmental and
Engineering Geophysics Special Issue on the Application of Proximal and Remote Sensing Technologies to Soil Investigations

Guest Editors: Barry Allred1,*, Asim Biswas2, Craig Lobsey3, Laurie Whitesell4
1USDA Agricultural Research Service, Soil Drainage Research Unit, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2University of Guelph, School of Environmental Sciences, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
3University of Southern Queensland, School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
4Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Near Surface Geophysics & Mining and Mineral Exploration, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

*Corresponding Author – [email protected]

There have recently been substantial advances in soil science regarding the use of proximal and remote sensing technologies, not just employing these two technologies separately, but also in combination, such as new sensor/platform integrations and the fusion of proximal and remote sensing datasets to improve characterization and mapping of the shallow subsurface.  Proximal and remote sensing soil investigations are particularly relevant with regard to engineering site inspections, environmental assessments/monitoring, and agricultural field studies. To highlight current soil science research involving proximal and remote sensing technologies, the International Union of Soil Sciences, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society collaborated to organize a virtual symposium titled, ‘‘Application of Proximal and Remote Sensing Technologies for Soil Investigations’’. Within the context of the virtual symposium that was organized, proximal sensing included geophysical methods applied at the ground surface, soil probes, and soil sensors. Remote sensing encompassed geophysical sensors integrated onto airborne platforms, along with visible, multispectral, and thermal infrared imagery obtained via aircraft, uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellites.

This international virtual symposium, held over a four-day period, August 16-19, 2021, had 45 presentations and 125 attendees. The USDA - Agricultural Research Service provided supplemental funding, and industry sponsors included SoilOptix, Inc., SciAps, Inc., Medusa Radiometrics BV, and Geonics Limited. The first three days of the symposium focused on research presentations given in six sessions. 

1) Introduction & Overview of Traditional Proximal Sensing Methods and New Proximal-Remote Sensing
2) Application of UAV, Aircraft, and Satellite Imagery for Soil Exploration
3) Soil Electrical Conductivity Studies
4) Soil Investigation Using GPR, TDR, Seismic, or Optical Spectroscopy
5) Fusion of Proximal Sensing Measurements for Soil Research
6) Combined Use of Proximal and Remote Sensing Methods

The final day of the symposium was devoted to a short course, ‘‘Sensor Data Management and Processing’’.  

Following the virtual symposium, there was solicitation of presenters for submissions of full articles related to their research. Six of these articles are included in this Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (JEEG) special issue. Harrison Smith, lead author for one the articles, ‘‘Applications and Analytical Methods of Ground Penetrating Radar for Soil Characterization in a Silvopastoral System’’ (Smith, Owens, Ashworth, and Sauer), was the 1st place recipient of the symposium’s best student presentation awards. Along with this article, there were three others also associated with the use of proximal soil sensing technologies within agroecosystem settings, ‘‘Integrated Agrogeophysical Approach for Investigating Soil Pipes in Agricultural Fields’’ (Samad, Wodajo, Rah, Mamud, and Hickey), ‘‘Mapping Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) Across Sugarcane Fields with Comparison of Different DUALEM Data, Inversion Modelling, Calibration Size and Regression Types’’ (Zhao, Wang, Zhao, Sefton, and Triantafilis), and ‘‘Continuous Automatic Estimation of Volumetric Water Content Profile During Infiltration Using Sparse Multi-Offset GPR Data’’ (Oikawa, Saito, Kuroda, and Takahashi). Two articles within this special edition focused on near surface geophysics applied within road pavement environments, ‘‘Automated Segmentation Framework for Asphalt Layer Thickness from GPR Data Using a Cascaded k-Means and DBSCAN Algorithm’’ (Singh, Kishore, Deo, Lu, and Kodikara) and ‘‘Numerical Study on Urban Infrastructure Diagnosis in Laterally Heterogenous Soils Using Resistivity and Ground Penetrating Radar Techniques’’ (Deo, Singh, Kishore, and Kodikara). Additional articles submitted by symposium presenters, which are currently under review or being processed for publication, are likely to be included in future issues of JEEG. Hopefully, the articles in this JEEG special provide greater awareness of the exciting research being carried out with proximal soil sensing technologies applied to soil investigations.  

JEEG December, 2022 Articles Published Online - Special Issue: Applications of Proximal and Remote Sensing Technologies

Barry Allred, Asim Biswas, Craig Lobsey, and Laurie Whitesell
Introduction to the Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics Special Issue on the Application of Proximal and Remote Sensing Technologies to Soil Investigations

Harrison W. Smith, Phillip R. Owens, and Amanda J. Ashworth
Applications and Analytical Methods of Ground Penetrating Radar for Soil Characterization in a Silvopastoral System 

Nikhil A. Singh, Kaushal Kishore, Ravin N. Deo, Ye Lu, and Jayantha Kodikara
Automated Segmentation Framework for Asphalt Layer Thickness from GPR Data Using a Cascaded k-Means - DBSCAN Algorithm 

Xueyu Zhao, Jie Wang, Dongxue Zhao, Michael Sefton, and John Triantafilis
Mapping Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) Across Sugarcane Fields with Different Comparisons by Using DUALEM Data 

Md Abdus Samad, Leti T. Wodajo, Parsa Bakhtiari Rad, Md Lal Mamud, and Craig J. Hickey
Integrated Agrogeophysical Approach for Investigating Soil Pipes in Agricultural Fields 

Koki Oikawa, Hirotaka Saito, Seiichiro Kuroda, and Kazunori Takahashi
Continuous Automatic Estimation of Volumetric Water Content Profile During Infiltration Using Sparse Multi-Offset GPR Data

Ravin N. Deo, Nikhil Singh, Kaushal Kishore, and Jayantha Kodikara
Numerical Study on Urban Infrastructure Diagnosis in Laterally Heterogenous Soils Using Resistivity and Ground Penetrating Radar Techniques

Author Biographies