MoisturEC: a new R program for moisture content estimation from electrical conductivity data

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Noninvasive geophysical estimation of soil moisture has potential to improve understanding of flow in the unsaturated zone for problems involving agricultural management, aquifer recharge, and optimization of landfill design and operations. In principle, several geophysical techniques (e.g., electrical resistivity, electromagnetic induction, and nuclear magnetic resonance) offer insight into soil moisture, but data‐analysis tools are needed to “translate” geophysical results into estimates of soil moisture, consistent with (1) the uncertainty of this translation and (2) direct measurements of moisture. Although geostatistical frameworks exist for this purpose, straightforward and user‐friendly tools are required to fully capitalize on the potential of geophysical information for soil‐moisture estimation. Here, we present MoisturEC, a simple R program with a graphical user interface to convert measurements or images of electrical conductivity (EC) to soil moisture. Input includes EC values, point moisture estimates, and definition of either Archie parameters (based on experimental or literature values) or empirical data of moisture vs. EC. The program produces two‐ and three‐dimensional images of moisture based on available EC and direct measurements of moisture, interpolating between measurement locations using a Tikhonov regularization approach.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title MoisturEC: a new R program for moisture content estimation from electrical conductivity data
Series title Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12650
Volume 56
Issue 5
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) OGW Branch of Geophysics
Description 9 p.
First page 823
Last page 831
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