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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2018-42
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2018-42
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Original research article 23 Jan 2019

Original research article | 23 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal SOIL (SOIL).

Error propagation in spectrometric functions of soil organic carbon

Monja Ellinger1, Ines Merbach2, Ulrike Werban3, and Mareike Ließ1 Monja Ellinger et al.
  • 1Department Soil System Science, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Halle (Saale), Germany
  • 2Department Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Bad Lauchstädt, Germany
  • 3Department Monitoring & Exploration Technologies, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a major role concerning the chemical, physical and biological soil properties and functions. To get a better understanding how soil management affects the SOC content, the exact monitoring of SOC on long-term field experiments (LTFE) is needed. Visible and near infrared (Vis-NIR) reflectance spectrometry is an inexpensive and fast possibility to enhance conventional SOC analysis and has often been used to predict SOC. For this study, 100 soil samples were collected at a LTFE in central Germany by two different sampling designs. Regression models were built using partial least square regression (PLSR). In order to build robust models, 10-fold cross-validation was used for model tuning and validation procedure. We analysed and discussed various aspects that influence the obtained error measure. A transparent and precise documentation of the model building and validation process, including the calculation of the error measure, is necessary in order to assess the model accuracy in a comprehensive way. This would be the first step to gain a standardized method for model building and validation procedure.

Monja Ellinger et al.
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Monja Ellinger et al.
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Short summary
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a major role concerning soil functionality. Vis-NIR reflectance spectrometry is a non-destructive fast methodology that is often applied jointly with SOC dry combustion analysis to increase the available dataset. It involves a model building process. This manuscript emphasizes the importance of the precise documentation of the measurement protocol and the model building process in order to understand the provided performance measure and to allow for comparison.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a major role concerning soil functionality. Vis-NIR reflectance...
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