Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 1719–1732 | Cite as

Environmental significance of magnetic properties of Gley soils near Rosslau (Germany)

  • Diana JordanovaEmail author
  • Neli Jordanova
  • Ulrike Werban
Original Article


Geophysical methods are widely applied to soils for resolving different tasks in precision agriculture, pollution evaluation, erosion estimation, etc. Environmental magnetic methods were applied in our study on a collection of soil samples from area near Rosslau (Germany), which was gathered on the basis of a field electromagnetic induction study. Magnetic laboratory analyses include magnetic susceptibility, isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM), anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM), thermomagnetic analyses for determination of the kind of magnetic minerals present in soils. The results reveal the presence of statistically significant inverse correlations between magnetic susceptibility, as well as remanent magnetizations ARM and IRM, and conductivity values. This maybe ascribed to influence of topography and water regime on the iron oxide forms in soil and the influence of soil moisture on soil conductivity. Magnetic measurements on soil cores showed close correspondence between soil horizons outlined in 1 m-long cores, and depth changes in mass-specific magnetic susceptibility. Existing relationships between magnetic characteristics, soil reaction pH, and nutrients’ content (total nitrogen, carbon and sulphur) have been explored by cluster analysis and general regression model statistics. The results reveal the presence of significant correlations between nutrients’ content, magnetic susceptibility and the grain size sensitive ratio ARM/χ. These are expressed by numerical equations, representing pedotransfer functions, which predict the content of Nitrogen, Carbon and Sulphur through combination of magnetic parameters and soil pH. The obtained pedotransfer functions for the particular case of Gley soils and Fluvisols studied could be used for application of magnetic methods in agricultural practice as a fast and inexpensive proxy evaluation of the content of these nutrition elements.


Soil Magnetic susceptibility Conductivity Environmental magnetism Pedotransfer functions 



This study was carried out in the frame of iSOIL project and the national contribution to it—project DO02-147/2009 of Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria. iSOIL-Interactions between soil related sciences—Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement No. 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the EC within the RTD activities of the FP7 Thematic Priority Environment. We thank all the hardworking people out in the field and in the Palaeomagnetic Laboratory (NIGGG-Sofia) for assistance with the measurements and soil sampling. Comments made by the two anonymous reviewers helped a lot to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Jordanova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Neli Jordanova
    • 1
  • Ulrike Werban
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and GeographyBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.UFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany

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