Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-564
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-564

  22 Nov 2021

22 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Technical note: A revised incoming neutron intensity correction factor for soil moisture monitoring using cosmic-ray neutron sensors

Magdalena Szczykulska, David Boorman, James Blake, and Jonathan G. Evans Magdalena Szczykulska et al.
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK

Abstract. The cosmic-ray neutron sensor method of soil moisture measurement is now widely used and is fundamental to the COSMOS-UK soil moisture monitoring network. The method is based on a relationship between a measured flux of neutrons and soil moisture, and requires the neutron count to be adjusted for time variations of atmospheric pressure, humidity and the incoming flux of cosmic-ray neutrons. This note describes an empirical approach to the development of a revised correction factor for the last of these. Using the revised correction factor makes a significant difference to the derived soil moisture at wetter sites. This has implications for quantifying the soil moisture regime at these sites and management decisions that depend on a proper understanding of soil moisture dynamics, such as flood management and the release of greenhouse gases.

Magdalena Szczykulska et al.

Status: open (until 17 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-564', Heye Bogena, 24 Nov 2021 reply

Magdalena Szczykulska et al.

Magdalena Szczykulska et al.

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Short summary
In this note, a revised incoming neutron intensity correction factor for soil moisture monitoring using cosmic-ray neutron sensors (CRNSs) is presented. The correction takes into account the incoming neutron flux differences at the reference neutron monitoring and soil moisture sites. When applied to the COSMOS-UK soil moisture data, it reduces the otherwise unexplained trend present in the data at wetter sites. It has implications for better soil moisture quantification using the CRNS method.