Application of Neutron Soil Surface Water Monitoring for Plant Establishment

by F. S. Nakayama, U.S. Water Conserv. Lab, United States,
S. G. Allen, U.S. Water Conserv. Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


Soil surface water content measurements are tedious and time consuming, and to improve on such tasks, a neutron surface moisture probe was modified by using cadmium shielding. This prevented neutrons interacting with non-soil water sources from affecting the probe. The equipment could be calibrated against surface soil moisture at the 0 - 8 cm depth. The modified moisture probe was used for frequent monitoring of water content on a seed bed in an experiment involving the direct seeding of guayule (Parthenium argentatum) in an arid environment. The water contents of the various irrigation regimes used in the germination study were adequately delineated, and moisture changes easily followed through the seedling period.

Subject Headings: Probe instruments | Soil water | Surface water | Moisture | Irrigation systems | Cadmium | Calibration | Arid lands

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