The National Soil Spectral Library of Israel

In recent years, scientists have been driving the establishment of national spectral libraries in many countries. Professor Eyal Ben-Dor and several fellow scientists propose taking this a step higher to establish a global soil spectral library. Additionally, they call for putting in place a clear and standardized protocol for soil spectral measurement and treatments so that all libraries use the same protocol as well as coding system and thus enable a smooth and precise data exchange and comparison between states.

2017 marked the launch of the joint Remote Sensing Laboratory and the Soil Erosion Research Station at the Ministry of Agriculture supported by the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture foundation . Researchers from both began establishing the national soil spectral library for classifying the world’s soils and for collecting and housing chemical-physical-spectral information on the different soils found throughout the country. The library will contribute to a great many environmental areas including agriculture, environmental protection and planning. It is intended to serve an open access resource for the benefit of all researchers, practitioners and members of the general public.

Project Objectives:

• Establishing an organized and standardized national soils database to serve research, study and monitoring of lands in Israel.
• Creating a broad and accessible digital database of soils in Israel, including chemical-physical-spectral information.
• Creating a computerized, interactive data-mining system for advanced location-based analysis of information from the database.
• Creating a year-round automated update system for the library
• Creating an open-access internet portal allowing users to easily extract and generate spatial information on different geographic areas without costly and labor-intensive field work.

A Few Specs in a Nutshell:

The library will start with 4000 samples, and grow over times. Physical samples will be stored in the Yad Avner university building; researchers may access the samples via a QR code that will be generated for each sample.
Available parameters will include:
• Exact coordinates
• Soil classification by WRB and USDA (World Reference Base for soil resources; US Dept. of Agriculture, respectively)
• Soil texture/density (percentage of sand, silt and clay) by weight and diffraction
• Percentage of calcium carbonate (limestone)
• Electrical conductivity
• Organic material content
• Organic carbon content
• General Nitrogen content
• N/C ratio
• Spectral data (optical and thermal; 0.4-2.5m and 7.5-11.7m respectively )

Click here for presentation on the topic of National Soil Spectral Library, presented by Dr. Roey Egozi at a brainstorming session of the Model Farm’s Scientific Committees teams

Click here for the national soil spectral library