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Simple sensors to achieve fine spatial resolution in continuous measurements of soil moisture and salinity

Lookup NU author(s): John Gowing



It is increasingly necessary to be able to measure, simultaneously, continuously and at fine spatial resolution, the salinity and water content of soil. This paper reports the design, construction, calibration and laboratory testing of two simple but robust instruments that enable this to be achieved. Salinity in solution was measured reliably, at 10-mm spacing, by multi-electrode resistivity probes up to saturation with NaCl (c. 6 mol l–1), though these probes required individual calibration and were unable to detect precipitated salt. Volumetric water content was measured with great sensitivity over a wide range, from air-dryness (0.06 m3m–3) to saturation (0.55 m3m–3) in a sandy loam, using thermal-conductivity probes that used a common calibration and were unaffected by the salinity of the soil solution, by temperature and by ageing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Konukcu F, Gowing JW, Rose DA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

Year: 2002

Volume: 6

Issue: 6

Pages: 1043-1051

Print publication date: 01/01/2002

Date deposited: 04/01/2008

ISSN (print): 1027-5606

ISSN (electronic): 1607-7938

Publisher: Copernicus