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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Use of Thermistors for the Measurement of Soil Moisture and Temperature1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 21 No. 1, p. 11-15
    Received: Jan 30, 1956
    Accepted: June 1, 1956

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  1. M. E. Bloodworth and
  2. J. B. Page2



Basic information on soil moisture availability for proper plant growth and development is essential in irrigated areas. This has practical applications for determining the rate and zone of moisture use by plants as well as the over-all irrigation requirements of crops.

It has been recognized that the thermal method of soil moisture measurement offers one of the best possibilities of being unaffected by salt in addition to covering the available moisture range with acceptable sensitivity. By using a thermistor as a combination heating element and temperature indicator, it has been found that such a unit, when cast in a porous material, serves as an accurate moisture indicating device.

Laboratory experiments have indicated that this method of moisture measurement covers the available moisture range, with its greatest sensitivity near and below field capacity. The thermal units have been unaffected by salt concentrations normally found in agricultural soils.

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