Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Efforts have been made in the soil survey program to improve soil mapping quality. Three types of aerial films were tested to determine if tonal differences exist among the three film types either singularly or in combination which would allow discrimination of soil series within a landscape across several land covers. The imagery consisted of panchromatic (600-700 nm), panchromatic (SOQ-700 nm), and black and white infrared (70Q-900 nm). The utility of these film types for discrimination of the components of soil mapping unit complexes was also tested. Differences were detected between films in the accuracy of discriminating soils due to land cover. The panchromatic (60Q-700 nm) film appeared to be most useful in areas with no land cover, crop residue, and small grain. In areas planted to alfalfa, the greatest accuracy was obtained using panchromatic (60Q-700 nm) or (500-700 nm) film. Generally, the infrared (70Q-900 nm) appeared to be most useful in areas used for pasture-where reflectance characteristics of the grasses are contrasting. Combinations of films improve accuracy in discriminating soils, in areas with no land cover and no crop residue. The combination of panchromatic (600-700 nm) and panchromatic (SOQ-700 nm) films were most useful in improving accuracy on landscape units with no land cover. Combinations of the panchromatic (60Q-700 nm) and infrared (700-900 nm) films were useful within soil groupings with more contrasting soil components. Over-all accuracy in discriminating soils was greater for soils within mapping units than for landscapes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Aerial photography in soil surveys
Discriminant analysis
Aerial photography -- Film
Aerial photography in soil surveys -- South Dakota
South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University