Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Forest Resources

Committee Member

Dr. Elena Mikhailova, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Christopher Post

Committee Member

Dr. Mark Schlautman

Abstract

Soil color determination can be subjective due to environmental conditions and human error. The objectives of this study were to examine the precision of a relatively inexpensive color sensor (NixTM Pro); to compare soil color measurements using this color sensor to human determination by soil science professionals using the standard Munsell Color Chart; and to compare the accuracy of this color sensor to a laboratory standard colorimeter (Konica Minolta CR-400). Sensor measurements were compared to the soil color chart by converting the Nix Pro values to Munsell soil color codes using BabelColor conversion software. Thirty-one Cecil (Fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludults) soil samples were collected and tested for color. Munsell color codes were converted into cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) color values, and the Nix sensor's scan results were tested against predetermined Munsell color values and colorimeter CMYK color values using correlation analysis for all treatments. Nix Pro Color Sensor was precise in soil color determination and it was more accurate than the Munsell Color Chart and comparable to the Konica Minolta CR-400 for both dry and moist soil. The Munsell Color Chart was accurate compared to the Konica Minolta CR-400 in dry soil, but it was less accurate in moist soil. The Nix Pro Color Sensor can be a successful tool to measure soil color in the standard Munsell color codes and this study presents a step-by-step method for converting sensor measurements to the standard Munsell color codes.

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