This report describes findings from sampling and analyses of soils across the Blackwater drain catchments, part of the Wensum demonstration test catchment (DTC) project funded by Defra. Recent studies have shown how spectroscopic techniques can be used to estimate soil properties and airborne spectroscopy could be an effective means to aid continuous mapping of soil properties across the landscape. Before an airborne survey is undertaken it is important to assess whether the relationships between infra red (IR) spectra and soil properties are sufficiently strong for the cost of the airborne survey to be justified. A secondary objective was to determine the concentrations of soil organic carbon (SOC) in soils across the cultivated parts of the catchment to determine whether there is any evidence that low SOC concentrations might indicate that the topsoil may exhibit poor structural stability contributing to enhanced sediment in stream and drainage channels
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