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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 1, p. 5-12
     
    Received: May 12, 2009
    Published: Jan, 2010


    * Corresponding author(s): sally.logsdon@ars.usda.gov
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2009.0189

Hydra Probe and Twelve-Wire Probe Comparisons in Fluids and Soil Cores

  1. S. D. Logsdon *a,
  2. T. R. Greenb,
  3. M. Seyfriedc,
  4. S. R. Evettd and
  5. J. Bontae
  1. a USDA-ARS, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, 2110 University Boulevard, Ames, IA 50011
    b USDA-ARS, Agricultural Systems Research Unit, Fort Collins, CO
    c USDA-ARS, Northwest Watershed Research Center, Boise, ID
    d USDA-ARS, Soil and Water Research, Bushland, TX
    e USDA-ARS, North Appalachian, Experimental Watershed, Coshocton, OH

Abstract

Soil water content is often determined using various permittivity sensors. The Hydra Probe reports both the real (ε′) and imaginary (ε″) components of complex permittivity (ε*) and estimates electrical conductivity (σ′). Previously, a 12-wire probe was used with a vector network analyzer to determine ε′ and ε″ and σ′ and σ″ in undisturbed soil cores. The purpose of this study was to compare results from the Hydra Probe and the 12-wire probe for fluids as well as for soil samples taken from six locations, to better understand the interrelations of ε′, ε″, and σ′ from the Hydra Probe. Undisturbed soil cores were collected from an Iowa prairie and adjacent soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] field, an Iowa forest and adjacent soybean field, Idaho burned and unburned sites, Colorado grassland and dryland wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) sites, Ohio grassed areas, and Texas rangeland and an irrigated field. Because of their density, some of the Texas samples were sieved and repacked. The reported σ′, ε′, and ε″ values of fluids were compared between the two measurement systems and with theoretical values. Because the theoretical values for soils are not known, the measured values were compared between systems. Both probes showed σ′, ε′, and ε″ close to the theoretical values for fluids. In soils, we showed that an adjustment was needed in the calculated σ′ from the Hydra Probe to account for dielectric relaxation. The soil σ′ of the Hydra Probe matched σ′ from the 12-wire probe better after the adjustment was made.

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