About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions



This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 2, p. 440-446
    Received: Oct 16, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): herve.bolvin@univ-avignon.fr
Request Permissions


Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of a Capacitance Probe

  1. Hervé Bolvin *a,
  2. André Chambarela and
  3. André Chanzyb
  1. a Complex Hydrodynamics Lab., 33 rue Louis Pasteur, F-84000 Avignon, France
    b INRA– Climate, Sol, Environment, Domaine Saint Paul, F-84914 Avignon Cedex, France


In this study, a three-dimensional model represents a capacitance probe measurement. It is based on Laplace's equation, which is solved using the Finite Element Method. A three-dimensional model can accurately represent both the probe geometry and nonaxisymmetric components of soil heterogeneity. As a result we have obtained a three-dimensional-cartography of electrical potential V(x, y, z) in the medium surrounding the electrodes and the effective dielectric constant of the media observed. The model was implemented to address such questions as the influence of the air/soil boundary when making measurements near the surface and the probe's volume of influence. It is shown that the volume of influence of the probe can be derived from a weighting function based on the density of electromagnetic energy and can be computed for a homogeneous medium. It is numerically observed that the probe's volume of influence is quite independent of the permittivity of the medium in which the probe is embedded. It is then verified that dielectric perturbations located outside the so defined volume of influence have little effect on the calculation of the effective dielectric constant seen by the capacitance probe.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2004. Soil Science SocietySoil Science Society of America