Temporal dynamics of soil moisture - A multi-sensor approach
Soil moisture is key state variable of the hydrological cycle, controlling for instance the partitioning of rainfall into a runoff and an infiltration component and modulating physical, chemical and biological processes in the soil. For the development of hydrological models or to further improve their description in terms of i) prediction accuracy and ii) internal consistency of calibration, one integral part is the measurement of hydrological parameters and state variables such as soil moisture.
This research aims to develop an optimal soil moisture monitoring programme for a mesoscale hydrological catchment by combining time series of data from a complete suite of available sensor technologies. Using clustering techniques a joint data interpretation is realized in order to determine suitable sampling locations for TDR measurements and to further identify key zones of soil moisture dynamics which might play a major role for water and matter fluxes in the catchment.
Specific research questions of this project
Which are the optimal combinations of sensors, sensor locations, and measurement dates to quantify the spatial dynamics of soil moisture?
Which are the dominant factors or structure-relevant patterns that control soil moisture dynamics?
Where are the key zones (hot spots) of soil moisture dynamics?
How can we regionally predict soil moisture by taking into account the heterogeneity of the system/catchment?