2D and 3D soil moisture imaging using a sensor-based platform moving inside a subsurface network of pipes
AuthorGravalos, I.; Moshou, D.; Loutridis, S.; Gialamas, T.; Kateris, D.; Bompolas, E.; Tsiropoulos, Z.; Xyradakis, P.; Fountas, S.
In this study a prototype sensor-based platform moving inside a subsurface network of pipes with the task of monitoring the soil moisture content is presented. It comprises of a mobile platform, a modified commercial soil moisture sensor (Diviner 2000), a network of subsurface polyvinylchloride (PVC) access pipes, driving hardware and image processing software. The software allows the composition of two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) images with high accuracy and at a large scale. The 3D soil moisture images are created by using 2D slices for better illustration of the soil moisture variability. Three case studies of varying soil moisture content using an experimental soil tank were examined. In the first case study, the irrigation water was applied uniformly on the entire tank surface. In second and third case studies, the irrigation water was applied uniformly only on the surface of the intermediate and last part of the soil tank respectively. The processed images give a detailed description of the soil moisture distribution of a layer at 15 cm depth under the soil surface in the tank. In all case studies that have been investigated, the distribution of soil moisture was characterized by a significant variability (difference between poorly and well-drained regions) of the soil tank. A very poorly-drained region was located in the middle of the soil tank, while well-drained soil areas were located southwest and northeast. The knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of soil moisture is a valuable tool for proper management of crop irrigation. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.