Journal of Hazardous Materials, 21 March 2015, Vol.285, pp.137-139
In recent years, several authors have suggested repeatedly that visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (VNIRS) could be an advantageous alternative to traditional wet-laboratory methods for the measurement of heavy metal concentrations in soils. In this comment, we argue that, on the contrary, VNIRS is of limited practical use in such a context and should not serve as an excuse to get rid of direly needed laboratory facilities. The key reasons are that VNIRS spectra are irremediably insensitive to the presence of heavy metals, that the effect of soil moisture and surface rugosity on VNIR sensing still has to be satisfactorily accounted for, and finally that VNIRS probes an extremely thin layer of soil at the surface, which is generally irrelevant in terms of plant growth. Given these intrinsic limitations, it seems indicated to put the persistent VNIRS myth to rest, and to explore other measurement techniques that may have more potential.
Engineering ; Law
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