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Correction of lightning effects on water content reflectometer soil moisture data

John S. McCartney and Jorge G. Zornberg
Correction of lightning effects on water content reflectometer soil moisture data
Vadose Zone Journal (May 2006) 5 (2): 673-683


Soil moisture monitoring systems involving correlations with soil dielectric content measured using WCR (water content reflectometer) probes are susceptible to lightning-induced errors during field monitoring programs. These errors must be understood and corrected to use moisture data in geoenvironmental or hydrological applications. This study evaluated the effect of lightning on WCR measurements observed during the monitoring of four evapotranspirative landfill test covers. Several lightning strikes at the site caused unrealistic shifts in the inferred moisture content (from 0.001 to 3.900 m (super 3) m (super -3) ), which showed a time-dependent decay. A conceptual model for lightning strike effects was developed that allowed correction of affected WCR data. Because duplicate probes were available in this project, WCR corrections could be calibrated by minimizing the difference between the data from affected probes with data from unaffected probes to within + or -5 m (super 3) m (super -3) . This led to a correlation useful in other cases where duplicate probes were not available. Assessment of the consistency of the corrected data included evaluation of wetting fronts, comparison of moisture changes against meteorological patterns, and comparison of the corrected moisture content with upper- and lower-bound moisture content values.

ISSN: 1539-1663
Serial Title: Vadose Zone Journal
Serial Volume: 5
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Correction of lightning effects on water content reflectometer soil moisture data
Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin, Department of Civil Engineering, Austin, TX, United States
Pages: 673-683
Published: 200605
Text Language: English
Publisher: Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, United States
References: 15
Accession Number: 2006-056718
Categories: Hydrogeology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N39°40'00" - N39°49'60", W104°55'00" - W104°45'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Soil Science Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 200631
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