Water percolation estimated with time domain reflectometry (TDR) in drainage lysimeters

Alisson Jadavi Pereira da Silva, Eugênio Ferreira Coelho
2013 Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo  
Due to the difficulty of estimating water percolation in unsaturated soils, the purpose of this study was to estimate water percolation based on time-domain reflectometry (TDR). In two drainage lysimeters with different soil textures TDR probes were installed, forming a water monitoring system consisting of different numbers of probes. The soils were saturated and covered with plastic to prevent evaporation. Tests of internal drainage were carried out using a TDR 100 unit with constant
more » ... h constant dielectric readings (every 15 min). To test the consistency of TDR-estimated percolation levels in comparison with the observed leachate levels in the drainage lysimeters, the combined null hypothesis was tested at 5 % probability. A higher number of probes in the water monitoring system resulted in an approximation of the percolation levels estimated from TDR - based moisture data to the levels measured by lysimeters. The definition of the number of probes required for water monitoring to estimate water percolation by TDR depends on the soil physical properties. For sandy clay soils, three batteries with four probes installed at depths of 0.20, 0.40, 0.60, and 0.80 m, at a distance of 0.20, 0.40 and 0.6 m from the center of lysimeters were sufficient to estimate percolation levels equivalent to the observed. In the sandy loam soils, the observed and predicted percolation levels were not equivalent even when using four batteries with four probes each, at depths of 0.20, 0.40, 0.60, and 0.80 m.
doi:10.1590/s0100-06832013000400009 fatcat:z6orlg3vm5ahdhlfexvbj7eyn4