Soil moisture spatial and temporal patterns from a wireless sensor network test bed

Monday, 15 December 2014
German Villalba1, Tyler W Davis1,2 and Xu Liang1, (1)Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, (2)Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
The dynamics of water movement through vegetated porous media is a complex problem with large variabilities over differing temporal and spatial scales. This study examines a multi-year wireless sensor network (WSN) collecting shallow subsurface (10 and 30 cm) soil moisture content and soil water potential. The study site, located at the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania's Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, is one of the longest running WSNs of its kind. Despite the noisy nature of the collected data (e.g., in comparison to traditional data logger methods), the WSN, consisting of over 50 nodes with more than 100 sensors, provides critical information regarding catchment-scale spatiotemporal patterns of soil moisture and soil water potential within a forested hill-sloped region of southwestern Pennsylvania.