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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 5, p. 1288-1294
    Received: May 31, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s): klb@tvlvax.tvl.soils.csiro.au
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Measurement of Soil Thermal Properties with a Dual-Probe Heat-Pulse Technique

  1. Keith L. Bristow ,
  2. Gerard J. Kluitenberg and
  3. Robert Horton
  1. CSIRO Division of Soils, PMB, PO Aitkenvale, Townsville, QLD 4814, Australia
    Dep. of Agronomy, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506
    Dep. of Agronomy, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011



Although soil thermal properties are required in many areas of engineering, micrometeorology, agronomy, and soil science, they are seldom measured on a routine basis. Reasons for this are unclear, but may be related to a lack of suitable instrumentation and appropriate theory. We developed a theory for the radial conduction of a short-duration heat pulse away from an infinite line source, and compared it with the theory for an instantaneously heated line source. By measuring the temperature response at a short distance from the line source, and applying short-duration heat-pulse theory, we can extract all the soil thermal properties, the thermal diffusivity, heat capacity, and conductivity, from a single heat-pulse measurement. Results of initial experiments carried out on air-dry sand and clay materials indicate that this heat-pulse method yields soil thermal properties that compare well with thermal properties measured by independent methods.

Contribution no. 93-430-J from the Kansas Agric. Exp. Stn., Manhattan, KS. Journal paper no. J-15353 of the Iowa Agric. Home Economics Exp. Stn., Ames, IA.

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