Application of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to quantify organic carbon in biochar amended soil

Authors: Xiaoqing Shen*, Texas A&M, Russell W Jessup, Texas A&M University, Dirk B Hays, Texas A&M University, Iliyana Dobreva, Texas A&M University, Burson L Byron, Texas A&M University, Rodante Tabien, Texas A&M University
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: GPR, Biochar, Soil Carbon, Sustainability
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

For decades, ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been well characterized across geology, archeology, civil engineering, and military applications as a novel and non-destructive tool. While it has been predominantly utilized to detect relatively large objects such as rocks, tree roots, groundwater, and ice, the purpose of this study is to identify and quantify comparatively smaller, particulate sources of soil organic carbon. In this work, the predominant carbon source is provided by torrefied biochar, and two other materials are provided to examine the ability of GPR detecting carbon with structural differences. The application of biochar soil amendments has been proposed as a strategy of mitigating global carbon emissions and soil organic carbon loss. Biochar can provide additional agronomic benefits to cropping systems, including improved crop yield, soil water holding capacity, and seed germination. In order to maximize beneficial effects of biochar amendments towards the assessment, increase and management of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools, a reliable method using GPR to identify and quantify biochar-amended soil carbon is necessary. This will set the foundation for belowground carbon mapping.

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