Carbon Sequestration

Measuring Total Carbon for Carbon Sequestration

Estimating sequestration possibilities involves accurately measuring Total Carbon (TC). TC is a measure of the organic and inorganic carbon contained within soil. TC in soil is a result of the decomposition of plant and animal matter, living and dead microorganisms, roots from plants, soil biota (which includes earthworms, nematodes, fungi, protozoa, bacteria, etc.) and carbon minerals.

TC affects soil  characteristics, including color, nutrient capacity (cation and anion exchange capacity) nutrient stability and turnover, and subsequently water relationships, aeration, and  cultivation. The accurate measurement of TC can result in better crop management for cultivated land and better understanding of available carbon pools in uncultivated land. VIS/NIR field spectroscopy offers a fast, accurate and affordable alternative to lab analysis of TC—an alternative that works without destroying the sample. Spectral evolution’s PSR+ and RS-3500 spectroradiometers are specifically designed for spectral analysis in situ. They’re rugged and reliable. The PSR+  has a range of direct attached lenses as well as fiber mount options with a steel-jacketed fiber optic cable. The RS-3500 is a fiber optic spectroradiometer with a field swappable fiber optic cable.Both are full range spectroradiometers, covering wavelengths from 350 to 2500nm—UV/VIS/NIR.

In a typical soil spectra, TC spectral features would be seen at 400, 1000, 1400, 1900-2100 and 2200-2400nm. To determine TC it is important to have high resolution spectra for analysis, as supplied by the PSR+ and RS-3500. The spectra from TC measurements are automatically saved in ASCII format and can be further analyzed using multivariate statistical tools such as PLSR and chemometrics analysis and spectral libraries built for predictive modeling of soils.