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1 September 2015 Relating water absorption features to soil moisture characteristics
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The spectral reflectance of a sample of quartz sand was monitored as the sample progressed from air-dry to fully saturated, and then back to air-dry. Wetting was accomplished by spraying small amounts of water on the surface of the sample, and collecting spectra whenever change occurred. Drying was passive, driven by evaporation from the sand surface, with spectra collected every 5 minutes until the sample was air dry. Water content was determined by monitoring the weight of the sample through both wetting and drying. There was a pronounced difference in the pattern of change in reflectance during wetting and drying, with the differences being apparent both in spectral details (i.e., the depth of absorption bands) and in the magnitude of the reflectance for a particular water content. The differences are attributable to the disposition of water in the sample. During wetting, water initially occurred only on the surface, primarily as water adsorbed onto sand particles. With increased wetting the water infiltrated deeper into the sample, gradually covering all particles and filling the pore spaces. During drying, water and air were distributed throughout the sample for most of the drying period. The differences in water distribution are assumed to be the cause of the differences in reflectance and to the differences in the depths of four strong water absorption bands.
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Jia Tian and William D. Philpot "Relating water absorption features to soil moisture characteristics", Proc. SPIE 9611, Imaging Spectrometry XX, 96110M (1 September 2015);


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