Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 483477
Title Averaging Performance of Capacitance and Time Domain Reflectometry Sensors in Nonuniform Wetted Sand Profiles
Author(s) Elsen, H.G.M. van den; Ritsema, C.J.; Seeger, M.; Keesstra, S.D.
Source Vadose Zone Journal 13 (2014)12. - ISSN 1539-1663 - 13 p.
Department(s) Alterra - Soil physics and land use
Soil Physics and Land Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) soil-water content - laboratory calibration - model
Abstract We present a comparison study on how well capacitance and time domain reflectometry water content sensors can estimate average water content values in non-uniformly wetted soils. This ability is important in studies where accurate average values are crucial. The averaging behavior of two capacitance water content sensors in nonuniform wetted sand samples was assessed and compared with the averaging behavior of a time domain reflectometry (TDR) water content sensor in identical samples. Four different nonuniform wetting situations were assessed. In one of the four experiments, the orientation of the capacitance sensor was altered, while in another the sensitivity along the length of the sensor was tested. For one of the tested sensor types, the overestimation of the volumetric water content (VWC) was 0.034 compared with the value determined by drying, while the corresponding TDR value deviated 0.009. The conclusion is that in a nonuniform wetted soil profile, the capacitance sensors tested weigh the wet parts more heavily than the dry parts, resulting in an overestimation of the average VWC. Therefore we conclude that the capacitance sensors tested are less suitable for applications in situations where both nonuniform wetted profiles are encountered and accurate VWC measurements are required.
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