Dynamic Visualization of Real-Time Wetting Fronts in Soils Using Multi-Sensor Capacitance Probe Arrays

cover page paper 2.1.jpg
cover page paper 2.1.jpg

Dynamic Visualization of Real-Time Wetting Fronts in Soils Using Multi-Sensor Capacitance Probe Arrays

25.00

Authors

Dalton, M.(1), Buss, P.(2), Stevens, S.(3) & Fuentes, S.(4)

Abstract

The use of small-site intensive soil water monitoring with multiple depth sensor arrays in representative soil volumes can indicate plant water usage rates in the broader scale. Multiple numbers of Sentek soil moisture monitoring probes were installed into sites within a range of different crops (including: grapevine, almond, cotton and watermelon) and irrigated with a range of different methods (drip, sprinkler and sub-surface drip). The probes were arranged within the plant root zones in transect lines extending from the water emitters. Soil water data was collected on a near-continuous basis simultaneously across the probe array. This was analysed using a new wetting pattern analysis software called IrriMAX™ 2D Imager to visualise the water distribution in the soil in 2-dimensions. This software uses automated cubic spline interpolation techniques to generate contour maps and video animation of water dynamics according to different levels of soil water. The soil water scale is obtained from the whole dataset and painted with false colours to visualise the dynamics of water movement throughout the soil profile. This method allows the visualisation of the spatial distribution of water in the soil and the duration of time over which such a distribution persists. This gave insights into the plant water uptake dynamics and soil drainage characteristics that could be extrapolated to the whole field for irrigation management purposes. Careful consideration of the data showed that root architecture and the passage of mobile salts could also be assessed at the root-zone scale. This visualization technique was shown to be a valuable adjunct to understanding the movement of water and nutrients throughout the root zone.

Keywords: capacitance, 2-D animation, soil moisture, wetting pattern analysis, salinity.

Add To Cart