How to translate text using browser tools
19 December 2023 Gamma radiation for the estimation of mineral soil water content in a boreal forest
Mathieu Gélinas, Sylvain Jutras
Author Affiliations +

Continuous monitoring of water quantities in different soil horizons is necessary to understand the behavior of infiltrated water in the soil. Under certain conditions, using measurements of natural ground gamma radiation can help us estimate soil water content measurements over a 100 m2 surface within a 15 cm depth. A CS725 sensor can provide up to four daily estimates of soil water content by detecting the natural emission of gamma radiation. However, in boreal forest environments, gamma radiation mitigated by the water in the thick humus layers (litter, fermented, and humic horizon) can bias the underlying mineral soil water content measurements. The objective of this research was to evaluate the accuracy of methods that incorporate variables describing the surface humus layer into calculations of the underlying mineral soil water content, by measuring the soil’s natural gamma emission with the CS725. Using raw gamma radiation values obtained by CS725 sensors deployed over various boreal soils, we tested two functions. The first one included variables describing the humus layer and the other excluded these variables (manufacturer’s method). The function that included the descriptive humus layer variables showed superior results compared to the function without. The results of this study suggest that the CS725 sensor can adequately estimate mineral soil water content within ±10% absolute of the reference water content when examined with the following humus variables: humus layer thickness, fractioned composition, bulk density, and linear gamma radiation attenuation.

Mathieu Gélinas and Sylvain Jutras "Gamma radiation for the estimation of mineral soil water content in a boreal forest," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 104(2), 191-203, (19 December 2023).
Received: 28 September 2023; Accepted: 14 December 2023; Published: 19 December 2023

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

boreal forest
gamma radiation
soil physics
soil water content
water management
Get copyright permission
Back to Top