Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The advent of remote sensing offers the soil surveyor new tools that can speed and improve the collection and compilation of soils information, but many questions remain unanswered. The big question is where does this new technique fit into the present system and how can it be used. The following report demonstrates the potential usefulness and validity of remote sensing for the mapping of soil limitations in the proposed Oahe irrigation project in South Dakota. The project was a part of the overall soil limitation study conducted by Dr. C. J. Frazee in conjunction with the Remote Sensing Institute and the Plant Science Department at South Dakota State University. The project utilized imagery obtained during the 1971 growing season and ground truth collected during 1971 and 1972. Previous work had shown that photographs taken during May contained obvious patterns and tonal contrasts that could be delineated by density slicing (Frazee, Heil and Westin, 1971; Frazee, Myers and Westin, 1972). A field check indicated that these patterns were associated with soil limitations. Because these limitations generally were not reflected on the published soil survey of the area due to its small scale, a more detailed survey was required to determine which soil properties were responsible for the tonal variation on the photograph. The overall objective of this research was to develop a method for detecting and mapping soil limitations with remote sensing techniques. The specific objectives were: 1. To obtain detailed information on specific soil properties characteristic of soil limitations from selected sites. 2. To determine the relationship between the soil properties measured and the tonal variations observed on photographic film. 3. To determine which band of the visible spectrum provides the best information for detecting soil limitations. 4. To develop a procedure for the analysis of field data and remotely gathered data that utilizes the state-of-the-art data analysis systems available at the Remote Sensing Institute.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soil mapping

Soil profiles

Remote sensing

Soils -- Maps

Soil surveys

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University