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|Created:||Apr 01, 2018 at 6:12 p.m.|
|Last updated:|| Apr 09, 2018 at 6:24 p.m.
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Characterizing both spatial and temporal soil moisture (θ) dynamics at site scales is difficult with existing technologies. To address this shortcoming, we developed a distributed soil moisture sensing system that employs a distributed temperature sensing system to monitor thermal response at 2 m intervals along the length of a buried cable which is subjected to heat pulses. The cable temperature response to heating, which is strongly dependent on soil moisture, was empirically related to colocated, dielectric-based θ measurements at three locations. Spatially distributed, and temporally continuous estimates of θ were obtained in dry conditions (θ ≤ 0.31) using this technology (root mean square error [RMSE] = 0.016), but insensitivity of the instrument response curve adversely affected accuracy under wet conditions (RMSE = 0.050).
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