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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-1-SOIL PHYSICS

Method for In Situ Field Calibration of Fiber Optic Miniprobes


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 3, p. 836-842
    Received: Apr 12, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): ghodrati@nature.berkeley.edu
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  1. Fernando Garrido,
  2. Masoud Ghodrati * and
  3. Chris G. Campbell
  1. Division of Ecosystem Sci., Dep. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3110 USA


A fiber optic miniprobe (FOMP) system, based on remote fluorometry, has been recently developed for in situ real-time measurement of solute transport processes in soil. In order for the FOMP output light intensity measurements to be converted to fluorescent tracer concentration, an in situ calibration is necessary for each probe. The conventional calibration method consists of leaching the entire soil unit of interest with several pore volumes of tracer solution for each calibration step. The steady signal measured by the probes at each step is then related to tracer concentration. This procedure works well for typical laboratory soil columns but is impractical for fiber optic calibration in longer soil columns or field conditions because of the large amount of time and tracer required. As a result, a “point” calibration method has been developed that consists of injecting standard solutions directly into the small soil volume surrounding the measurement tip of the probe. Comparisons of the conventional leaching method with the injection calibration techniques confirmed the new procedures work well in both silica sand and clay loam soil columns. As a result, the new calibration technique was tested in a heterogeneous field soil and provided a simple and accurate approach to calibrating FOMPs for in situ real-time measurement of solute transport processes in the field.

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