Quantitative evaluation of soil ion content using an imaginary part model of soil dielectric constant
An imaginary part model of soil dielectric constant for predicting the soil salinity status was developed based on a series of relations between dielectric imaginary part and soil bulk conductivity, soil bulk conductivity and soil solution electrical conductivity, and soil solution electrical conductivity and ion contents in soil using pot trials with different soil salinity levels in the 2008 growing season. This model was calibrated and tested with data from the 2009 growing season. The results showed that the inverted values of the total concentration of salt (Sc), Cl– , and Ca2+ at low frequencies (P-band of microwave observations) from the imaginary part model fitted well with the observed values, since root mean square errors (RMSEs) were 0.34 g kg–1, 0.09 g kg–1 and 0.13 g kg–1, respectively, but the inversion effect of Na+ was relatively poor. Moreover, the Sc, Cl– , and Na+ could be well inverted at high frequencies (C-band of microwave observations), since RMSEs were minor, with values of 0.25 g kg–1, 0.02 g kg–1, and 0.15 g kg–1, respectively. The close fit between the observed and inverted values indicated that the present models could be used to estimate soil ion content quickly and reliably under different saline conditions, which, when suitable measures are taken, can be used to reduce the effects of soil salinity on crop growth.
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