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Title: METHODS FOR MEASUREMENT OF SOIL WATER CONTENT: CAPACITANCE DEVICES

Author
item Starr, James
item PALTINEANU, IOAN

Submitted to: Methods of Soil Analysis
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2001
Publication Date: 10/1/2002
Citation: Starr, J.L., Paltineanu, I.C. 2002. Methods for measurement of soil water content: capacitance devices. Methods of Soil Analysis.

Interpretive Summary: Water exerts a controlling influence on most of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur in soils. In most agricultural soil systems, water contents are highly dynamic in time, being affected by soil properties, soil and crop cultural practices, amounts and intensities of water inputs, and stage of crop growth. There is a continued need for better methods and techniques to perform accurate, real-time, nearly continuous, soil water measurement at specific depths, with minimal soil disturbance, and covering field-scale areas. Recent developments in microelectronics has resulted in significant advancement in probes that are increasingly accurate and robust for measuring real-time soil water content dynamics. This chapter presents the basis and techniques for one of those methods, using capacitance probes, along with its advantages and limitations, calibration, and field installation procedures.

Technical Abstract: Water exerts a controlling influence on most of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur in soils. In most agricultural soil systems, water contents are highly dynamic in timel, being affected by soil properties, soil and crop cultural practices, amounts and intensities of water inputs, and stage of crop growth. There is a continued need for better methods and techniques to perform accurate, real-time, nearly continuous, soil water measurement at specific depths, with minimal soil disturbance, and covering field-scale areas. Recent developments in microelectronics has resulted in significant advancement in probes that are increasingly accurate and robust for measuring real-time soil water content dynamics. This chapter presents the basis and techniques for one of those methods, using capacitance probes, along with its advantages and limitations, calibration, and field installation procedures. New techniques sare also presented for assessing the vertical and horizontal zone of influence of the method.