Articles | Volume 21, issue 10
Research article
 | Highlight paper
06 Oct 2017
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 06 Oct 2017

Improving calibration and validation of cosmic-ray neutron sensors in the light of spatial sensitivity

Martin Schrön, Markus Köhli, Lena Scheiffele, Joost Iwema, Heye R. Bogena, Ling Lv, Edoardo Martini, Gabriele Baroni, Rafael Rosolem, Jannis Weimar, Juliane Mai, Matthias Cuntz, Corinna Rebmann, Sascha E. Oswald, Peter Dietrich, Ulrich Schmidt, and Steffen Zacharias


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Short summary
A field-scale average of near-surface water content can be sensed by cosmic-ray neutron detectors. To interpret, calibrate, and validate the integral signal, it is important to account for its sensitivity to heterogeneous patterns like dry or wet spots. We show how point samples contribute to the neutron signal based on their depth and distance from the detector. This approach robustly improves the sensor performance and data consistency, and even reveals otherwise hidden hydrological features.