Monitoring soil water dynamics at 0.1-1000 m scales using active DTS: the MOISST experience

Monday, 15 December 2014
Chadi Sayde1, Daniel Moreno1, Claire Legrand2, Jianzhi Dong3, Susan C Steele-Dunne4, Tyson E. Ochsner5 and John Steven Selker1, (1)Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States, (2)INP ENSEEIHT, Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics, Toulouse, France, (3)Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands, (4)Delft University of Technology, Delft, 5612, Netherlands, (5)Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, United States
The Actively Heated Fiber Optics (AHFO) method can measure soil water content at high temporal (<1hr) and spatial (every 0.25 m) resolutions along buried fiber optics (FO) cables multiple kilometers in length.

As observed by Sayde et al. 2014, this unprecedented density of measurements captures soil water dynamics over four orders of magnitude in spatial scale (0.1-1000 m), bridging the gap between point scale measurements and large scale remote sensing. 4900 m of FO sensing cables were installed at the MOISST experimental site in Stillwater, Ok. The FO cables were deployed at 3 depths: 5, 10, and 15 cm. In this system the FO sensing system provides measurements of soil moisture at >39,000 locations simultaneously for each heat pulse. Six soil monitoring stations along the fiber optic path were installed to provide additional validation and calibration of the AHFO data. Gravimetric soil moisture and soil thermal samplings were performed periodically to provide additional distributed validation and calibration of the DTS data. In this work we present the preliminary results of this experiment. We will also address the experience learned from this large scale deployment of the AHFO method. In particular, we will present the in-situ soil moisture calibration method developed to tackle the calibration challenges associated with the high spatial heterogeneity of the soil physical and thermal properties.

The material is based upon work supported by NASA under award NNX12AP58G, with equipment and assistance also provided by CTEMPs.org with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1129003. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA or the National Science Foundation.

Sayde, C., J. Benitez Buelga, L. Rodriguez-Sinobas, L. El Khoury, M. English, N. van de Giesen, and J.S. Selker (2014). Mapping Variability of Soil Water Content and Flux across 1-1,000 m scales using the Actively Heated Fiber Optic Method, Accepted for publication in Water Resour. Res.