Sensing and 3D mapping of soil compaction

Tekin Y., KUL B., Okursoy R.

SENSORS, vol.8, no.5, pp.3447-3459, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/s8053447
  • Journal Name: SENSORS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3447-3459
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Soil compaction is an important physical limiting factor for the root growth and plant emergence and is one of the major causes for reduced crop yield worldwide. The objective of this study was to generate 2D/3D soil compaction maps for different depth layers of the soil. To do so, a soil penetrometer was designed, which was mounted on the three-point hitch of an agricultural tractor, consisting of a mechanical system, data acquisition system (DAS), and 2D/3D imaging and analysis software. The system was successfully tested in field conditions, measuring soil penetration resistances as a function of depth from 0 to 40 cm at 1 cm intervals. The software allows user to either tabulate the measured quantities or generate maps as soon as data collection has been terminated. The system may also incorporate GPS data to create geo-referenced soil maps. The software enables the user to graph penetration resistances at a specified coordinate. Alternately, soil compaction maps could be generated using data collected from multiple coordinates. The data could be automatically stratified to determine soil compaction distribution at different layers of 5, 10,...., 40 cm depths. It was concluded that the system tested in this study could be used to assess the soil compaction at topsoil and the randomly distributed hardpan formations just below the common tillage depths, enabling visualization of spatial variability through the imaging software.