Climatic Change

, Volume 80, Issue 1–2, pp 43–54 | Cite as

Emerging technologies for in situ measurement of soil carbon

  • Ronald J. Gehl
  • Charles W. Rice
Original Article


Carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere is critical to mitigating the increasing anthropogenic CO2 content of the atmosphere. However, improved efficiency of methods for soil C measurement is important to better estimate terrestrial C inventories and fluxes at a regional and global scale. Laboratory based measurement of soil C involves intensive, time consuming, and costly methodology that limits applicability for large land areas. Recently, research efforts have focused on measuring soil C in situ using a variety of methods. These methods include Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and remote sensing. Basic fundamentals of each of these in situ methods for soil C determination are presented, and the differences among the methods and their relative advantages and disadvantages are discussed.


Soil Organic Matter Soil Organic Carbon Soil Carbon Partial Little Square Regression Laser Induce Breakdown Spectroscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



airborne visible/infrared imaging spectrometer


inelastic neutron scattering


laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy


minimum detection limit






near-infrared spectroscopy


standard error of prediction


soil organic carbon


soil organic matter


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dep. of Crop and Soil SciencesMichigan State Univ.East LansingUSA
  2. 2.Dep. of Agronomy, 2004 Throckmorton Plant Sciences CenterKansas State Univ.ManhattanUSA

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