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Laboratory evaluation of dual-frequency multisensor capacitance probes to monitor soil water and salinity
Real-time information on salinity levels and transport of fertilizers are generally missing from soil profile knowledge bases. A dual-frequency multisensor capacitance probe (MCP) is now commercially available, for sandy soils, to simultaneously monitor volumetric soil water content (VWC) measured as a percentage and salinity as a unitless volumetric ion content (VIC). The objectives of this research were to assess the relationship of salinity and water content with these dual-frequency MCPs under laboratory conditions, and assess its potential for field use in sandy soils of the mid-Atlantic region of the US. Water and salinity studies were conducted in two sand-filled PVC columns, 1.2 m long by 0.25 m ID. Each column was instrumented with ten dual-frequency capacitance sensors and two thermocouple temperature sensors. Four salinity levels were studied in the two columns using 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 dSm⁻¹ NH₄NO₃ solutions. Water, salinity, and temperature readings were continuously recorded at 1-min intervals. The VIC values were found to be primarily qualitative, but combined with real-time VWC measures the probe could still be an important fertigation management tool to provide near-continuous real-time information on fertilizer penetration, spread and subsequent changes during crop growth.
Starr, J. L.
Timlin, D. J.
Downey, P. M.
McCann, I. R.
soil water content
Irrigation science 2009 July, v. 27, no. 5
Berlin/Heidelberg : Springer-Verlag
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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