From measurering soil water to monitoring soil water dynamics

  • 1 January, 2010
  • Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management
  • prof. dr CJ Ritsema

Soil moisture is an important parameter in various environment related fields; it is the driving force in many biological and physical processes. Therefore, the accurate assessment of soil moisture values is important in different fields of scientific research. In the last decades much progress has been made by the development of various new soil moisture acquisition techniques on different scales. For point, plot and catchment scale, progress has been made by the development of new sensors based upon Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) and capacitive technology. Despite ease of use of this type of new equipment, some knowledge gaps on the field of practical applicability still exist; transition from point to moisture profile scale, transition from profile to large field scale, processing and interpretation of large amounts of automatically acquired data, accuracy of calibration of TDR sensors and specific field calibration incorporating all soil characteristics are some of the subjects that still lack knowledge and practical experience. These imperfections stand in the way of specialized field research, which is necessary to investigate very detailed, subtle variations of certain soil properties.


Erik van den Elsen

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