Wednesday, November 4, 2009: 2:15 PM
Convention Center, Room 410, Fourth Floor
It is now well established that heat-pulse sensors can be used measure the volumetric water content of soil with accuracy and precision comparable to that of other methods. Although the technology for constructing and operating these sensors is well developed, they have yet to be widely adopted for routine measurement of soil water content in field investigations. In this paper we will 1) review the positive attributes of the heat-pulse method that continue to drive the strong interest in this measurement technology, 2) discuss barriers and limitations that have hindered widespread adoption of heat-pulse methods for routine field measurements, and 3) summarize recent developments in sensor technology that eliminate some of the barriers and limitations of conventional heat-pulse sensors. Water content data from a number of field investigations will be presented to support the review and discussion.