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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 21, issue 10
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5009–5030, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5009-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5009–5030, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5009-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 06 Oct 2017

Research article | 06 Oct 2017

Improving calibration and validation of cosmic-ray neutron sensors in the light of spatial sensitivity

Martin Schrön et al.
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Cited articles  
Almeida, A. C., Dutta, R., Franz, T. E., Terhorst, A., Smethurst, P. J., Baillie, C., and Worledge, D.: Combining Cosmic-Ray Neutron and Capacitance Sensors and Fuzzy Inference to Spatially Quantify Soil Moisture Distribution, IEEE Sensors J., 14, 3465–3472, https://doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2014.2345376, 2014.
Baatz, R., Bogena, H., Franssen, H.-J. H., Huisman, J., Qu, W., Montzka, C., and Vereecken, H.: Calibration of a catchment scale cosmic-ray probe network: A comparison of three parameterization methods, J. Hydrol., 516, 231–244, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.02.026, 2014.
Baroni, G. and Oswald, S.: A scaling approach for the assessment of biomass changes and rainfall interception using cosmic-ray neutron sensing, J. Hydrol., 525, 264–276, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.03.053, 2015.
Bogena, H. R., Herbst, M., Huisman, J., Rosenbaum, U., Weuthen, A., and Vereecken, H.: Potential of wireless sensor networks for measuring soil water content variability, Vadose Zone J., 9, 1002–1013, 2010.
Bogena, H. R., Huisman, J. A., Baatz, R., Hendricks Franssen, H.-J., and Vereecken, H.: Accuracy of the cosmic-ray soil water content probe in humid forest ecosystems: The worst case scenario, Water Resour. Res., 49, 5778–5791, https://doi.org/10.1002/wrcr.20463, 2013.
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A field-scale average of near-surface water content can be sensed by cosmic-ray neutron detectors. To interpret, calibrate, and validate the integral signal, it is important to account for its sensitivity to heterogeneous patterns like dry or wet spots. We show how point samples contribute to the neutron signal based on their depth and distance from the detector. This approach robustly improves the sensor performance and data consistency, and even reveals otherwise hidden hydrological features.
A field-scale average of near-surface water content can be sensed by cosmic-ray neutron...
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