"Evaluating the use of NDVI analysis in a Soil Matter study of grazed pastures, Rockbridge, VA"

Ryan Monson, Thesis 2020

"Evaluating the use of NDVI analysis in a Soil Matter study of grazed pastures, Rockbridge, VA"
Advisor: David Harbor

Abstract: Increasing soil organic matter and soil organic carbon stocks in our soils can improve the health and productivity of our soils and mitigate atmospheric CO2 through sequestration. Having the ability to measure soil organic matter and track its changes is important for understanding soil health and soil carbon sequestration. Remote sensing techniques for estimating soil organic matter can be quicker and less expensive than collecting hand samples. In this study I compare remote sensing NDVI data with soil organic matter hand sample data to evaluate their relationship and thus evaluate the ability to use remote sensing in estimating soil organic matter in this region under pasture land use. Plant productivity relates loosely to soil organic matter when analyzed at a small farm scale (<< 1 km2). More information about soil characteristics, texture, nutrients, land use history and terrain are needed to understand the relationship between productivity and soil organic matter.

Full thesis available. Contact the Geology Department at 540-458-8800.