It costs money to go out into the field and collect samples of rock, soil or water, and so we need to make sampling as efficient as possible. Good sampling design allows us to draw sound conclusions with no more sampling effort than is necessary.
At the BGS we have undertaken studies to develop criteria to plan efficient sampling, and these methods have been applied in our research and information collection.
Figure 1 shows the optimised sampling scheme that we developed for the Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) soil sampling campaign undertaken in South West England during 2012.
Sampling studies undertaken by BGS:
Scientists at the BGS often want to know how environmental variables vary at different spatial scales. We have designed efficient sampling schemes to do this in which several nested scales can be sampled at once. One such scheme is illustrated in Figure 2 and these are currently in use at a study site to examine how soil moisture content varies across a landslip site.
Read more about a network of semi-wireless sensors for studying soil moisture on a hillslope (SENSOR NET).
Contact Dr Murray Lark for more information