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ECH2O Probe calibration for soil moisture content determination in the tropical climate of Akure, Nigeria

Author(s): Odubanjo O.O. et al.

Journal: International Journal of AgriScience
ISSN 2228-6322

Volume: 3;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 718;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Soil moisture | ECH2O probe | Grid sampling | Gravimetric method | Nigeria

The use of digital sensor devices such as ECH2O probe is widely adopted in the developed countries due to the bias arising from the use of gravimetric method; which includes moisture loss from soil during sampling and failure to remove all soil water during drying. Soil moisture distribution pattern in a typical agricultural soil of Akure, a southwest city of Nigeria was investigated using the gravimetric method and sensor instrument (ECH2O probe). Soil samples were collected weekly from the field following the grid sampling technique. The sapling was carried out at three different blocks and replicated six times to determine soil moisture content gravimetrically at depths 15, 30, 45 and 60 cm. Also, ECH2O probes were installed at four different locations on the field to determine soil moisture in situ at depths 15,30 and 45cm. Records of gravimetric soil moisture content from the experiment were used to calibrate the ECH2O probe values for the Akure soil condition. Results obtained from the research showed that the goodness of fit between the gravimetric soil moisture content and the ECH2O probe soil moisture content are adequately reliable with high coefficient of determination r2 = 0.87, 0.82 and 0.90 at depths 15, 30 and 45 cm, respectively. Also, the soil moisture characteristic curve is polynomial with very high correlation coefficient 0.93 and 0.92 at depths 30 and 45cm, respectively. The result of this research is useful soil moisture management practices and groundwater modelling.
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