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10 June 2005 High-resolution surface soil moisture variability at a midwest site
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Soil moisture is highly variable in space and time and affects the performance of electromagnetic sensors through its effects on thermal and dielectric properties. This research focused on characterizing soil moisture variability at spatial scales relevant to the sensing of small targets. Surface moistures of the top 6 cm of soil were collected on regular grids with an impedance probe. Measurements were made at 0.1-m resolution over 3- × 4-m and 3- × 5-m grids at a short grass site on silt loam. Tall grass and bare soil sites on gravelly silt loam were sampled at 1.0-m resolution over 20- × 30-m and 10- × 30-m grids. Exponential models fit to sample variograms of the 0.1-m resolution data show that soil moistures were spatially dependent over a distance of 0.5 m. Maximum variances (variogram sill), for data collected over a four-day span following a rainfall event, increased linearly with decreased mean moisture level as the soil dried. The revealed structures can be exploited to simulate soil moisture variation temporally and spatially. The impedance probe’s ability to reproduce variation in volumetric water content observed with conventional oven drying methods was demonstrated prior to the field experiment. Separate tests demonstrated that the probes can be used interchangeably. The impact of sparse surface grass on the moisture variation measured with the probe was also demonstrated to be small under the conditions tested.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Rae Melloh, Chris Berini, and Ronald Bailey "High-resolution surface soil moisture variability at a midwest site", Proc. SPIE 5794, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets X, (10 June 2005);

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