PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 118-126.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2005.03.014

• Original Articles • Previous Articles    

Application of Remote Sensing Technique in Soil Carbon Storage Researches

ZHANG Wenjuan1,2, WANG Shaoqiang2, CHANG Hua1, YU Guirui2   

  1. 1. College of Information and Electrical Engineering, China Agriculture University, Beijing 100083|
    2. Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2004-10-01 Revised:2005-03-01 Online:2005-05-25 Published:2005-05-25


As the main parts of terrestrial carbon pool, soil carbon pools play an important role in global carbon balance. They are essential to understand the soil carbon cycling for the prediction of future atmospheric CO2 concentration and understanding the structure and function of soil ecosystem. Applications of remote sensing in the study of terrestrial carbon cycle open up an effective way for simulating terrestrial ecosystem process. Remote sensing of soil carbon storage is critical to understand climate change and terrestrial carbon cycle. Beginning with the Landsat-MSS data in early 1970s, spaceborne multispectral measurements from a variety of sensors have been extensively used for carrying out soil surveys. In the paper, combining many latest studies, we summarized the applications of remote sensing in soil carbon storage. First, the feasibility of using remotely sensed data to study soil carbon storage is discussed. The applications of remote sensing in estimating soil carbon storage, including remotely sensed aerial photograph, vegetation index and soil reflectance spectrum are reviewed next. Finally, the development tendency in soil carbon storage researches using remote sensing technology is specified concisely. With the link of carbon cycle model, remote sensing technique and GIS, simulating carbon cycle process in large scale will be the main research trend.

Key words: remote sensing, soil carbon storage, soil organic matter, vegetation index