Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 525-537

First online:

Use of geophysical methods for the study of sandy soils under Campinarana at the National Park of Viruá, Roraima state, Brazilian Amazonia

  • Bruno Araujo Furtado de MendonçaAffiliated withSoil Department, Federal University of Viçosa Email author 
  • , Elpídio Inácio Fernandes FilhoAffiliated withSoil Department, Federal University of Viçosa
  • , Carlos Ernesto Gonçalves Reynaud SchaeferAffiliated withSoil Department, Federal University of Viçosa
  • , Anôr Fiorini de CarvalhoAffiliated withSoil Department, Federal University of Viçosa
  • , José Frutuoso do ValeJr.Affiliated withSoil and Agricultural Engineering Department, Federal University of Roraima
  • , Guilherme Resende CorrêaAffiliated withBiodiversity and Forest Institute, Federal University of West of Pará

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The vegetation of the Campinaranas occurs in humid areas with hydromorphic sandy soils at the Amazon region. Thus, the determination and in situ monitoring of moisture content in Campinarana soils, besides the detection of subsurface layers are key measures for studying these soil–vegetation systems. Also, the application of ground penetrating radar (GPR) in deep sandy sedimentary sequence of Amazonia is a promising tool to enhance the knowledge on depositional and soil formation features.

Materials and methods

We studied representative soils of the Campinaranas at the National Park of Viruá, state of Roraima (Brazilian Amazonia), through the use of geophysical methods (soil moisture sensors and GPR). The study was applied in four sandy soils. Besides chemical and physical analysis of soils, soil moisture sensors were installed for monitoring during an entire hydrological year (2010/2011), and performed the calibration of sensors , coupled with imaging of the soil along transects with GPR.

Results and discussion

As a result of calibration of the soil moisture sensors we obtained a general equation with an R 2 greater than 0.9. There is an influence of soil moisture content and soil temperature in the distribution of vegetation types in Campinaranas. The use of GPR identified some determinants characteristics in these soils for the differentiating the Campinaranas, represented by spodic and C horizons.


The spodic horizons in soils under Forest Campinarana provided potential errors in the determination of soil moisture, requiring calibration data for the precise use of this device. The investigation of the soil through the GPR showed interesting results, which allowed continuous visualization of the main soil horizons along transects in the phytophysiognomies of Campinaranas.


Campinarana GPR Moisture sensor calibration Sandy soils Soil moisture monitoring