Theses and Dissertations


Wijewardane, Nuwan

Committee Member

Tagert, Mary Love

Committee Member

Rangappa, Raju Bheemanahalli

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 1 year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Biological Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Wetland determinations require the visual identification of anaerobic soil indicators by an expert, which is a complex and subjective task. To eliminate bias, an objective method is needed to identify wetland soil. Currently, no such method exists that is rapid and easily interpretable. This study proposes a method for wetland soil identification using visible through mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy and classification algorithms. Wetland and non-wetland soils (n = 440) were collected across Mississippi. Spectra were measured from fresh and dried soil. Support Vector Classification and Random Forest modeling techniques were used to classify spectra with 75%/25% calibration and validation split. POWERSHAP Shapley feature selection and Gini importance were used to locate highest-contributing spectral features. Average classification accuracy was ~91%, with a maximum accuracy of 99.6% on MIR spectra. The most important features were related to iron compounds, nitrates, and soil texture. This study improves the reliability of wetland determinations as an objective and rapid wetland soil identification method while eliminating the need for an expert for determination.