Determination of soil calcium using field portable x-ray fluorescence

Yuanda Zhu, David C. Weindorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Soil calcium (Ca) determines several characteristics of soil fertility and affects many plant functions after absorption. It is necessary to develop a method to quickly determine soil Ca content in situ because soil Ca content can vary considerably in natural environments. Laboratory determination of Ca is laborious and costly. This study assessed the potential of field portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) to be used in soil Ca determination. The consistency, repeatability, and accuracy of FPXRF are carefully examined using both artificial and natural soil samples. The effects of sample treatments including drying, bagging, grinding, and sieving on FPXRF are also investigated. Results show that FPXRF can detect and quantify total soil Ca content rapidly, accurately, and consistently with standard or specific calibration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalSoil Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Field portable x-ray fluorescence
  • Soil calcium
  • XRF


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