Status: this preprint was under review for the journal HESS but the revision was not accepted.
Calibration approaches of cosmic-ray neutron sensing for soil moisture measurement in cropped fields
C. A. Rivera Villarreyes,G. Baroni,and S. E. Oswald
Abstract. Measurement of soil moisture at the plot or hill-slope scale is an important link between local vadose-zone hydrology and catchment hydrology. This study evaluates the applicability of the cosmic-ray neutron sensing for soil moisture in cropped fields.
Measurements of cosmic-ray neutrons (fast neutrons) were performed at a lowland farmland in Bornim (Brandenburg, Germany) cropped with sunflower and winter rye. Three field calibration approaches and four different ways of integration the soil moisture profile to an integral value for cosmic-ray neutron sensing were evaluated in this study. The cosmic-ray sensing (CRS) probe was calibrated against a network of classical point-scale soil moisture measurements. A large CRS parameter variability was observed by choosing calibration periods within the different growing stages of sunflower and winter rye. Therefore, it was not possible to identify a single set of parameters perfectly estimating soil moisture for both sunflower and winter rye periods. On the other hand, CRS signal and its parameter variability could be understood by some crop characteristics and by predicting the attenuated neutrons by crop presence.
This study proves the potentiality of the cosmic-ray neutron sensing at the field scale; however, its calibration needs to be adapted for seasonal vegetation in cropped fields.
How to cite. Rivera Villarreyes, C. A., Baroni, G., and Oswald, S. E.: Calibration approaches of cosmic-ray neutron sensing for soil moisture measurement in cropped fields, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 10, 4237–4274, https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-10-4237-2013, 2013.
Received: 15 Mar 2013 – Discussion started: 04 Apr 2013