Monitoring UVA Vidriales Ayoó

22.06.2013 By: UVA, Luis Fernando Sánchez

On 21 June, the team from the University of Valladolid went down to the plot of 25 ha in area B of the project Operation CO2  in the hamlet of Congosta, Vidriales Ayoó Township, Zamora. Througout the morning  the Mayor Sofía Tostón Lobato and a resident of the town paid a visit to the plot to experience at first hand the activities being developed.

They conducted two parallel tasks: firstly, they proceeded to collect plant and soil samples in previously georeferenced points in March and, secondly, a survey flight was made with a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) equipped multiesprectrales cameras.

The sample collection forms part of the monitoring plan that is being made in areas B and C, in Ayoó of Vidriales and San Mateo de Gallego, Zamora and Zaragoza provinces respectively. The objective is to track the evolution of the carbon content of the soil and the biomass estimation of the crops. For that purpose a first sampling campaign in March 2013 was taken, with centimeter accuracy GPS points where soil and plants had been extracted. Subsequently, on June 21 they returned to those same points to repeat the sample collection. That day 36 samples of soil and 9 samples of plants (wheat and lupine) have been taken.

Each sample of the plants occupies an area of a quarter of m2 and this surface is used as a reference for subsequent calculations. In the laboratory the plants were cleaned, weighed, dried and reweighed to determine their biomass. Subsequently, they were sprayed and the percentage of carbon content was measured. A similar process is used with the soil samples: after drying and sieving, they are milled to measure their carbon content using sophisticated equipment.

As for the flight, this was made using a GPS-guided UAV equipped with cameras that capture images from multispectral reflected light by vegetation, allowing post-processing related indices to calculate both the state of the crop and biomass estimations.