Next Article in Journal
Groundwater Contamination, Subsurface Processes, and Remediation Methods: Overview of the Special Issue of Water on Groundwater Contamination and Remediation
Previous Article in Journal
Potential of Rainwater Utilization in Households Based on the Distributions of Catchment Area and End-Use Water Demand
Open AccessArticle

Optimizing the Positioning of Soil Moisture Monitoring Sensors in Winter Wheat Fields

1
Key Laboratory of Crop Water Use and Regulation, Ministry of Agriculture, Farmland Irrigation Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Xinxiang 453002, Henan, China
2
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation an Alliance between NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650, Australia
3
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92507, USA
4
School of Agricultural & Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121707
Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 18 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
  |  
PDF [2254 KB, uploaded 22 November 2018]
  |     |  

Abstract

Collecting accurate real-time soil moisture data in crop root zones is the foundation of automated precision irrigation systems. Soil moisture sensors (SMSs) have been used to monitor soil water content (SWC) in crop fields for a long time; however, there is no generally accepted guideline for determining optimal number and placement of soil moisture sensors in the soil profile. In order to study adequate positioning for the installation of soil moisture sensors in the soil profile, six years of field experiments were carried out in North China Plain (NCP). Soil water content was measured using the gravimetric method every 7 to 10 days during six growing seasons of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L), and root distribution was measured using a soil core method during the key periods of winter wheat growth. The results from the experimental data analysis show that SWC at different depths had a high linear correlation. In addition, the values of correlation coefficients decreased with increasing soil depth; the coefficient of variation (CV) of SWC was higher in the surface layers than in the deeper layers (depths were 0–40 cm, 0–60 cm, and 0–100 cm during the early, middle, and last stages of winter wheat, respectively); wheat roots were mainly distributed in the surface layer. According to an analysis of CV for SWC and root distribution, the depths of planned wetted layers were determined to be 0–40 cm, 0–60 cm, and 0–100 cm during the sowing to reviving stages (the early stage of winter wheat), returning green and jointing stages (the middle stage of winter wheat), and heading to maturity stage (the last stage of winter wheat), respectively. The correlation and R-cluster analyses of SWC at different layers in the soil profile showed that SMSs should be installed 10 and 30 cm below the soil surface during the winter wheat growing season. The linear regression model can be built using SWC at depths of 10 and 30 cm to predict total average SWC in the soil profile. The results of validation showed that the developed model provided reliable estimates of total average SWC in the planned wetted layer. In brief, this study suggests that suitable positioning of soil moisture sensors is at depths of 10 and 30 cm below the soil surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil water content; soil profile; soil moisture sensor; winter wheat; correlation analysis soil water content; soil profile; soil moisture sensor; winter wheat; correlation analysis
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Shen, X.; Liang, J.; Zeleke, K.T.; Liang, Y.; Wang, G.; Duan, A.; Mi, Z.; Ning, H.; Gao, Y.; Zhang, J. Optimizing the Positioning of Soil Moisture Monitoring Sensors in Winter Wheat Fields. Water 2018, 10, 1707.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top