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Using Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probes to Monitor Landscape Scale Soil Water Content in Mixed Land Use Agricultural Systems


Affiliations
1 School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, United States
2 Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1400 Vienna, Australia
3 Centre for Water Resource Systems, Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), 1040 Vienna, Australia
4 Federal Agency for Water Management, Institute for Land &Water Management Research, 3252 Petzenkirchen, Australia
5 HydroInnova LLC, Albuquerque, NM 87106, United States
 

With an ever-increasing demand for natural resources and the societal need to understand and predict natural disasters, soil water content (SWC) observations remain a critical variable to monitor in order to optimally allocate resources, establish early warning systems, and improve weather forecasts.However, routine agricultural production practices of soil cultivation, planting, and harvest make the operation and maintenance of direct contact point sensors for long-term monitoring challenging. In this work, we explore the use of the newly established Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) and method to monitor landscape average SWC in a mixed agricultural land use system in northeast Austria. The calibrated CRNP landscape SWC values compare well against an independent in situ SWC probe network (MAE = 0.0286m3/m3/) given the challenge of continuous in situ monitoring from probes across a heterogeneous agricultural landscape. The ability of the CRNP to provide real-time and accurate landscape SWC measurements makes it an ideal method for establishing long-term monitoring sites in agricultural ecosystems to aid in agricultural water and nutrient management decisions at the small tract of land scale as well as aiding in management decisions at larger scales.
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  • Using Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probes to Monitor Landscape Scale Soil Water Content in Mixed Land Use Agricultural Systems

Abstract Views: 71  |  PDF Views: 12

Authors

Trenton E. Franz
School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, United States
Ammar Wahbi
Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1400 Vienna, Australia
Mariette Vreugdenhil
Centre for Water Resource Systems, Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), 1040 Vienna, Australia
Georg Weltin
Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1400 Vienna, Australia
Lee Heng
Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1400 Vienna, Australia
Markus Oismueller
Centre for Water Resource Systems, Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), 1040 Vienna, Australia
Peter Strauss
Federal Agency for Water Management, Institute for Land &Water Management Research, 3252 Petzenkirchen, Australia
Gerd Dercon
Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1400 Vienna, Australia
Darin Desilets
HydroInnova LLC, Albuquerque, NM 87106, United States

Abstract


With an ever-increasing demand for natural resources and the societal need to understand and predict natural disasters, soil water content (SWC) observations remain a critical variable to monitor in order to optimally allocate resources, establish early warning systems, and improve weather forecasts.However, routine agricultural production practices of soil cultivation, planting, and harvest make the operation and maintenance of direct contact point sensors for long-term monitoring challenging. In this work, we explore the use of the newly established Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) and method to monitor landscape average SWC in a mixed agricultural land use system in northeast Austria. The calibrated CRNP landscape SWC values compare well against an independent in situ SWC probe network (MAE = 0.0286m3/m3/) given the challenge of continuous in situ monitoring from probes across a heterogeneous agricultural landscape. The ability of the CRNP to provide real-time and accurate landscape SWC measurements makes it an ideal method for establishing long-term monitoring sites in agricultural ecosystems to aid in agricultural water and nutrient management decisions at the small tract of land scale as well as aiding in management decisions at larger scales.