Waveband Selection for Determination of Nitrate in Soil Using Mid-infrared Attenuated Total Reflectance Spectroscopy

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This paper investigates the possibility of determining nitrate concentration in soil pastes using spectral absorbance at several fixed wavebands. A three-step procedure for determining the most appropriate wavebands, as well as their width, is described. This procedure is applied to a dataset that includes eleven soils with various nitrate concentrations ranging from 0 to approximately 150 mg [N]/kg [dry soil]. The results show that nitrate concentration can be determined quite acceptably using only four 12 cm-1 wide wavebands, centered at 1280, 1330, 1379, and 1430 cm-1. The prediction errors range from approximately 1.5 to 14.0 mg [N]/kg [dry soil], depending on soil composition and moisture content, with the lighter and more vulnerable (pollution-wise) soils having errors inferior to 10 mg [N]/kg [dry soil]. These results are similar to results obtained by applying partial least square to the 'continuous' spectrum, and indicate that the development of a soil nitrate attenuated total reflectance (ATR) sensor based on a few fixed mid-infrared (MIR) wavebands could be considered.

Keywords: ATR; Attenuated total reflectance; FT-IR spectroscopy; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Precision fertilization; Stepwise regression

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/0003702042475394

Affiliations: Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lowdermilk Division of Agricultural Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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