Soil moisture and matric potential – an open field comparison of sensor systems
Soil water content and matric potential are central hydrological state variables. A large variety of automated probes and sensor systems for state monitoring exist and are frequently applied. Most applications solely rely on the calibration by the manufacturers. Until now, there has been no commonly agreed-upon calibration procedure. Moreover, several opinions about the capabilities and reliabilities of specific sensing methods or sensor systems exist and compete. A consortium of several institutions conducted a comparison study of currently available sensor systems for soil water content and matric potential under field conditions. All probes were installed at 0.2 m b.s. (metres below surface), following best-practice procedures. We present the set-up and the recorded data of 58 probes of 15 different systems measuring soil moisture and 50 further probes of 14 different systems for matric potential. We briefly discuss the limited coherence of the measurements in a cross-correlation analysis. The measuring campaign was conducted during the growing period of 2016. The monitoring data, results from pedophysical analyses of the soil and laboratory reference measurements for calibration are published in Jackisch et al. (2018, https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.892319 [Titel anhand dieser DOI in Citavi-Projekt übernehmen] ).