A quality assessment of Spatial TDR soil moisture measurements in homogenous and heterogeneous media with laboratory experiments
Abstract. Investigation of transient soil moisture profiles yields valuable information of near- surface processes. A recently developed reconstruction algorithm based on the telegraph equation allows the inverse estimation of soil moisture profiles along coated, three rod TDR probes. Laboratory experiments were carried out to prove the results of the inversion and to understand the influence of probe rod deformation and solid objects close to the probe in heterogeneous media. Differences in rod geometry can lead to serious misinterpretations in the soil moisture profile, but have small influence on the average soil moisture along the probe. Solids in the integration volume have almost no effect on average soil moisture, but result in locally slightly decreased moisture values. Inverted profiles obtained in a loamy soil with a clay content of about 16% were in good agreement with independent measurements.