Global Soil Partnership

Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. It is based on the principle that molecular vibrations and electronic transitions associated with soil constituents absorb light while interacting with radiation. For the first time since the discovery of this technology, institutions and experts from around the world are now joining efforts to use this technology to support decision making on soil protection globally.

With the support of its partners, GLOSOLAN aims to:

  1. Build a globally representative, soil spectral calibration library (database) based on MIR spectra and the accompanying soil property reference data recorded in one gold-standard reference laboratory;
  2. Provide a freely available and easy-to-use soil property estimation service based on this evolving library;
  3. Support countries in their contributions to the GLOSOLAN library (named the Global Soil Spectral Calibration Library) and their use of the soil property estimation service;
  4. Harmonize soil spectroscopy methods (including soil sample preparation, spectral measurement, and quality assurance of data analysis) by developing standards and protocols; and
  5. Help countries build the capacity for estimating soil properties using soil spectrometry.

Why to invest in soil spectroscopy?

Why to invest in soil spectroscopy?

Soil spectroscopy is a method that has the potential of more rapidly and cost-effectively measuring soil properties in the lab and in the field. Soil spectral analysis estimates soil properties by calibrating conventional reference measurements, like wet chemistry soil tests, to the spectral signatures. The potential of spectral technology in soil mapping and monitoring is tremendous as it is fast, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, nondestructive, reproducible and repeatable. Numerous soil properties can be directly calibrated to near- and mid-infrared spectra (MIR) due to the fact that spectral signatures respond to soil mineral and organic composition. 

Why is GLOSOLAN investing in soil spectroscopy?

Why is GLOSOLAN investing in soil spectroscopy?

By recognizing the potential of spectral technology in soil analysis and soil mapping and monitoring, GLOSOLAN aims to address the constraints that still hamper the wider uptake of this technology. Major constraints include (1) the lack of standards and protocols to ensure compatible spectral measurements across laboratories, (2) the lack of calibrated spectral libraries for different soil types and geographies, and (3) the lack of capacity of conventional soil laboratories in spectral methods.

Who are GLOSOLAN partners in soil spectroscopy?

Who are GLOSOLAN partners in soil spectroscopy?

The initiative is being supported by the following founding members, with hopes for even more partners in the future. To become a partner please refer to [email protected] and [email protected].

Who is leading the working group on soil spectroscopy?

Who is leading the working group on soil spectroscopy?

  • Keith Shepherd, ICRAF, Kenya
  • Richard Ferguson, USDA, United States
  • Fenny van Egmond, ISRIC, Netherlands

Can I join the GLOSOLAN working group on soil spectroscopy?

Can I join the GLOSOLAN working group on soil spectroscopy?

We are a network of experts and institutions working on a common objective. Everybody with experience in spectroscopy technology is welcome to join our team. To become a member of our working group please send an email to [email protected] and [email protected]. In your email, please tell us a bit about you and your experience in soil spectroscopy.

In order to avoid spamming, working group members are contacted any time an activity relevant to their experience is implemented.

Please note that you do not need to become a member of the working group in order to be kept informed on GLOSOLAN’s activities on soil spectroscopy. All laboratories registered in GLOSOLAN are kept informed on the work and main achievements of the working group. See How can I register my laboratory in GLOSOLAN

I do not have experience in soil spectroscopy but I would like to build my capacities on it, how can I do?

I do not have experience in soil spectroscopy but I would like to build my capacities on it, how can I do?

Please register your laboratory in GLOSOLAN in order to be kept informed on activities and capacity building opportunities in soil spectroscopy. See How can I register my laboratory in GLOSOLAN.

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Webinar #1: An Introduction to Soil Spectroscopy

Conducted by Mr Bo Stenberg on 6.09.2021, this webinar reviews the basic mechanisms for soil visible–near infrared (vis–NIR) spectroscopy.

Webinar #2: Soil Spectroscopy for Soil Physical and Chemical Properties

Conducted by Mr Budiman Minasny on 16.09.2021, this webinar presents how soil spectroscopy can characterize extensive different soil physical and chemical soil properties.

Webinar #3: A future for soil spectral inference

Conducted by Mr Alex McBratney on 23.09.2021, this webinar presents the definition and role of soil spectroscopy for laboratory as well as field measurement.

Regional Champions on Soil Spectroscopy

How were the regional champions in soil spectroscopy selected?

How were the regional champions in soil spectroscopy selected?

In 2020, laboratories and institutes that expressed interest in the role of regional champions in soil spectroscopy were invited to complete a form to introduce themselves and indicate how they would be able to comply with the Terms of Reference. Candidate profiles were sent to the Regional Soil Laboratory Networks that elected their regional champions.

What is the duration of the mandate of the regional champions in soil spectroscopy?

What is the duration of the mandate of the regional champions in soil spectroscopy?

There is no time limit or term limit for the regional champion laboratories and/or institutes. Regional champion laboratories and/or institutes retain their role as long as they comply with the Terms of Reference outlined in this document. If necessary, a position will be revised at the first available plenary meeting on spectroscopy.

 

To learn more about the regional champions serving your region and the type of support they can offer laboratories in need and GLOSOLAN, please consult the interactive map below, by clicking on the icon displayed.

The map reports laboratories with different symbols and colors, according to their function:

  • Laboratories marked with stars are the Regional Champion Laboratories, they have different colors based on the region they serve;
  • Laboratories marked with flags act as Sub-Regional Champion Laboratories and they are also colored according to the region they are working in.
EuropeEuropeEuropeEuropeNENAAsiaNorth AmericaLatin AmericaAfricaPacific

 

Key publications

A Global Soil Spectral Calibration Library and Estimation Service
EN

Global soil spectroscopy assessment: 2020 online survey
EN

Global Capacity Development in Soil Spectroscopy
EN

Terms of reference of the GLOSOLAN’s Technical Working Group on Soil Spectroscopy
AR | CH | EN | FR | RU | ES

Events

Bootstrap Example
2nd Spectroscopy meeting
First plenary meeting on spectroscopy
Virtual | 23 - 25 September 2020

Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. It is based on the principle that molecular vibrations..

1st Spectroscopy meeting
Inception meeting of the GLOSOLAN’s initiative on spectroscopy
Lincoln, USA | 6 - 8 November 2019

Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy is rapidly being taken up as a rapid, low cost and high reproducible method for soil analysis..