Detection of soil compaction using seismic surface waves

Shane Donohue, Forristal Dermot, Louise A. Donohue

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    Seismic geophysical methods have rarely been used in precision agriculture, predominantly due to the perception that they are slow and results require a complex evaluation. This paper explores the possibility of using a recently developed surface wave seismic geophysical approach, the multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) method, for assessment of agricultural compaction. This approach has the advantage of being non-intrusive, rapid and is able to produce 2D ground models with a relatively high density of spatial sampling points. The method, which was tested on a research site in Oakpark, Ireland, detected a significant difference in shear wave velocity between a heavily compacted headland and an uncompacted location. The results from this approach compared favourably with those obtained
    from measurements of bulk density and penetrometer resistance and demonstrate that the MASW approach can distinguish between the extreme states of heavily compacted and uncompacted soil.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54-60
    JournalSoil and Tillage Research
    Early online date20 Dec 2012
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agronomy and Crop Science
    • Soil Science
    • Earth-Surface Processes


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