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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328740

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL LAND MANAGEMENT TO OPTIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION AT FARM AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: COSmic-ray soil moisture observing system (COSMOS) in grazing-cap fields at El Reno, Oklahoma

Author
item Starks, Patrick - Pat
item Bajgain, Rajen - University Of Oklahoma
item Basara, Jeffrey - University Of Oklahoma
item Steiner, Jean
item Xao, Xiangming - University Of Oklahoma

Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/29/2016
Publication Date: 6/14/2016
Citation: Starks, P.J., Bajgain, R., Basara, J., Steiner, J.L., Xao, X. 2016. COSmic-ray soil moisture observing system (COSMOS) in grazing-cap fields at El Reno, Oklahoma. Pp. 5-11. In: R.W. Todd and A. Campbell (Eds). Proceedings-Great Plains Grazing Field Research Symposium, 14 June 2016, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. Available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5YS3Y9RTDyiQV9IUURWY2NNNW8/view?pref=2&pli=1.

Interpretive Summary: Soil water content (SWC), especially over large areas, is an important measurement needed by hydrological, meteorological, climatological, agricultural, and environmental scientists. Point measurements of SWC are impractical to obtain over large areas; thus, methods that provide real-time, hectare-scale measurements are needed. The COSmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) is such a method. Three of these systems were situated within fields at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory (GRL), in El Reno, OK, prior to the onset of a USDA-NIFA Grazing Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP). Two systems were located in warm season perennial grass fields (one native prairie, the other an improved Old world bluestem field) and the other in a winter wheat field. The objectives of this report are to describe the field settings in which the COSMOS sensors are deployed and to provide a first-look at the soil moisture time series data from the COSMOS sensors. Comparison of the data from the three sites showed similar wetting and drying cycles among the fields. Comparison of measured soil moisture and COSMOS SWC verified that other environmental factors (e.g., atmospheric humidity) influence the COSMOS values. Once calibrated and fully vetted, the COSMOS data from the study sites will provide useful input to the CAP lifecycle analysis as well as input to other CAP projects.

Technical Abstract: Soil water content (SWC), especially over large areas, is an important variable needed by hydrological, meteorological, climatological, agricultural, and environmental scientists. Point measurements of SWC are impractical to obtain over extensive areas; thus, methods that provide real-time, hectare-scale measurements are needed. The COSmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) is such a method. Three of these systems were deployed within fields at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory (GRL), in El Reno, OK. Two were located in Grazing-CAP fields and the other in a winter wheat field. The objectives of this report are to describe the field settings in which the COSMOS sensors are deployed and to provide a first-look at the soil moisture time series data from the COSMOS sensors. Comparison of the data from the three sites showed similar wetting and drying cycles among the fields. Comparison of measured in situ and COSMOS SWC verified that other environmental factors (e.g., atmospheric humidity) influence the COSMOS values. Once calibrated and fully vetted, the COSMOS data from the Grazing-CAP sites will provide useful input to the CAP lifecycle analysis as well as input to other CAP projects.