Percolation in macropores and performance of large time-domain reflectometry sensors

https://doi.org/10.17221/6372-PSECitation:Doležal F., Matula S., Moreira Barradas J.M. (2012):   Percolation in macropores and performance of large time-domain reflectometry sensors. Plant Soil Environ., 58: 503-507.
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  The large-diameter time-domain reflectometry soil water sensors placed horizontally in a structured loamy soil are very sensitive to rapid preferential percolation events. Their readings on these occasions rise considerably, often becoming higher than the native soil’s porosity. The effect is caused by gaps between the native soil and the sensors. The geometry of the gaps, even if filled with soil slurry at installation, is not exactly reproducible, which leads to sensor-to-sensor variability of readings. Field calibration in percolation-free periods lead to non-unique trajectories rather than monotonous calibration curves, which can be commented in terms of soil heterogeneity and the dual porosity theory. Data of two typical percolation events are presented. Sensors of this type can be used for detection of preferential flux.  
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