Soil moisture monitoring at the field scale using neutron probe

Kodikara, J., Rajeev, P., Chan, D., & Gallage, Chaminda (2014) Soil moisture monitoring at the field scale using neutron probe. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 51(3), pp. 332-345.

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Measurement of the moisture variation in soils is required for geotechnical design and research because soil properties and behavior can vary as moisture content changes. The neutron probe, which was developed more than 40 years ago, is commonly used to monitor soil moisture variation in the field. This study reports a full-scale field monitoring of soil moisture using a neutron moisture probe for a period of more than 2 years in the Melbourne (Australia) region. On the basis of soil types available in the Melbourne region, 23 sites were chosen for moisture monitoring down to a depth of 1500 mm. The field calibration method was used to develop correlations relating the volumetric moisture content and neutron counts. Observed results showed that the deepest “wetting front” during the wet season was limited to the top 800 to 1000 mm of soil whilst the top soil layer down to about 550mmresponded almost immediately to the rainfall events. At greater depths (550 to 800mmand below 800 mm), the moisture variations were relatively low and displayed predominantly periodic fluctuations. This periodic nature was captured with Fourier analysis to develop a cyclic moisture model on the basis of an analytical solution of a one-dimensional moisture flow equation for homogeneous soils. It is argued that the model developed can be used to predict the soil moisture variations as applicable to buried structures such as pipes.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
10 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 70163
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Soil Moisture Content, Neutron Probe, Field Calibration, Expansive Soil, Fourier Analysis, Moisture Diffusivity
DOI: 10.1139/cgj-2012-0113
ISSN: 1208-6010
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2014 01:42
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2014 02:14

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