Summary of Advances in Heat-Pulse Methods: Measuring Near-Surface Soil Water Content
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Surface layer soil water content is important for evaporation, surface energy balance, seed germination, residue decomposition, microbial activity, and many other biological, chemical, and physical processes. The standard method (i.e., the gravimetric method) for measuring soil water content requires destructive sampling and is unsuitable for continuous measurement. Techniques such as neutron thermalization and time domain reflectometry suffer relatively large errors in measuring soil water content near the surface. In a recent Methods of Soil Analysis article, the authors present the principles and procedures for using a heat-pulse sensor to determine near-surface soil water content.
This article is published as Zhang, Xiao, Tusheng Ren, Joshua Heitman, and Robert Horton. "Summary of Advances in Heat-Pulse Methods: Measuring Near-Surface Soil Water Content." Soil Science Society of America Journal 82, no. 5 (2018): 1015. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2018.04.0138.