Modelling the relative permittivity of soils using soil hygroscopic water content

Robinson, D.A.; Cooper, J.D.; Gardner, C.M.K.. 2002 Modelling the relative permittivity of soils using soil hygroscopic water content. Journal of Hydrology, 255 (1-4). 39-49.

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A model describing the increase in the relative permittivity of water with distance from the soil mineral surface is presented. The model assumes an exponential increase in the value of permittivity with increasing distance from the mineral surface; arguments are presented supporting this approach. The volume of bound water (within the bandwidth of time domain reflectometry, (TDR) 0.01–1 GHz) is considered to be equivalent to the soil hygroscopic water content. The refractive index mixing equation is used as a geometric base into which the model is incorporated. The new equation is tested using measurements of permittivity collected from two drying undisturbed soil cores that contained 10% hygroscopic water. The RMSE of predicted permittivity as a function of water content was found to decrease from 3.5 to less than 1. The model was further tested on data previously presented in the literature and found to correspond reasonably well.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Process Hydrology
ISSN: 0022-1694
Additional Keywords: bound water, hygroscopic water, soil relative permittivity, time domain reflectometry TDR, dielectric constant
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 01 May 2012 11:24 +0 (UTC)

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