GHENT UNIVERSITY, BELGIUM
SPATIAL INVENTORY OF SOIL PROPERTIES
Through teaching, research and provision of services, the Department of Soil Management at Ghent University aims at (1) improving the understanding of the chemical, physical and biological soil properties and processes and their spatial relation, and (2) applying this knowledge to manage soils in a sustainable way, particularly with respect to an agricultural, ecological and environmental context.
One of the department’s research groups, ORBit − which is Dutch acronym for “Research group Soil Spatial Inventory Techniques” − specializes in advancing the spatial inventory of soil properties. Two supporting research topics are the use of mobile proximal soil sensors to investigate soil properties in a non-destructive way, and the application of geostatistics to sampling strategy design for the collection of soil data and to their spatial interpolation or simulation. Some concrete research applications include the use of electromagnetic induction and ground penetrating radar for detecting and characterizing anthropogenic soil disturbances such as soil contamination, landfills and buried metal objects (e.g. unexploded ordnance).
The Department of Soil Management also is a representative of Ghent University involved in the development of a proposal for the EIT 2014 Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) Call in the field of Raw Materials, in which landfill mining is one of the aspects included the innovative exploration and resource evaluation of Europe’s raw materials base