Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Mark Engle


Non-invasive, near surface geophysical tools provide a time efficient and cost-effective approach to study the shallow subsurface. Electromagnetic induction (EMI) instruments are a category of these near surface methods that provide spatial and temporal information (2-D to 4-D) about shallow (<6 m) subsurface properties, from which soil salinity, clay content, and water content can be estimated. However, deconstructing soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) from EMI methods into its component parts remains a challenge. This research uses EMI and magnetic geophysical techniques to: (1) compare and contrast the distribution and behavior of ECa, both spatially and temporally, at two flood irrigated agricultural sites (pecan orchards) with different soil layers, properties, and controls on electrical conductivities that lie within the same floodplain in far west Texas; and (2) develop a one-dimensional inversion model using ECa and soil texture data at specified layers from established sites of known high and low ECa to determine soil layer resistivities at various dates during the irrigation season. Data are compared to soil sensor bulk EC and volumetric water content data at corresponding depths to validate results. Soils at both sites exhibit large ECa contributions from textural controls, and irrigation frequency. The combination of these two controls dictate where and how quickly secondary minerals precipitate, clog soil pores, reduce infiltration, and salinize the groundwater. Insight from this research aids in ongoing efforts to characterize vadose zone hydrology in dryland critical zones with high infiltration and serves as a guide for locations where future soil sampling will occur.




Recieved from ProQuest

File Size

74 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Kristina Sasser