Non-invasive estimation of root zone soil moisture from coarse root reflections in ground-penetrating radar images

Xinbo Liu, Xihong Cui, Li Guo, Jin Chen, Wentao Li, Dedi Yang, Xin Cao, Xuehong Chen, Qixin Liu, Henry Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aims: Root zone soil moisture is an important component in water cycling through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. However, its measurement in the field remains a challenge, especially non-invasively and repeatedly. Here, we developed a new method that uses ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to quantify root zone soil moisture. Methods: Coarse roots were chosen as reflectors to collect GPR radargrams. An automatic hyperbola detection algorithm identified coarse root reflections in GPR radargrams and determined the velocity of GPR wave, which then was used to calculate the average soil water content of a soil profile (ASWC) and soil water content in a depth interval (ISWC). In total, GPR reflection data of 55 root samples from three computer simulation scenarios and two field experiments in sandy shrubland, one burying roots at known depths and the other under the undisturbed condition, were used to evaluate the proposed method. Results: Both the simulated and the field collected data demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method for measuring root zone soil moisture with high accuracy. Even in the two field experiments, the root-mean-square errors of the estimated ASWC and ISWC relative to measurements from soil cores were as low as 0.003 and 0.012 m 3 ·m −3 , respectively. Conclusion: The proposed method offers a new way of quantifying root zone soil moisture non-invasively that allows repeated measurements. This study expands the application of GPR in root and soil study and enhances our ability to monitor plant-soil-water interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-639
Number of pages17
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume436
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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ground-penetrating radar
ground penetrating radar
rhizosphere
soil moisture
soil water
soil water content
water content
soil-plant-atmosphere interactions
automatic detection
methodology
soil
shrubland
computer simulation
shrublands
soil profiles
soil profile
method
atmosphere
monitoring

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Liu, Xinbo ; Cui, Xihong ; Guo, Li ; Chen, Jin ; Li, Wentao ; Yang, Dedi ; Cao, Xin ; Chen, Xuehong ; Liu, Qixin ; Lin, Henry. / Non-invasive estimation of root zone soil moisture from coarse root reflections in ground-penetrating radar images. In: Plant and Soil. 2019 ; Vol. 436, No. 1-2. pp. 623-639.
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abstract = "Background and aims: Root zone soil moisture is an important component in water cycling through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. However, its measurement in the field remains a challenge, especially non-invasively and repeatedly. Here, we developed a new method that uses ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to quantify root zone soil moisture. Methods: Coarse roots were chosen as reflectors to collect GPR radargrams. An automatic hyperbola detection algorithm identified coarse root reflections in GPR radargrams and determined the velocity of GPR wave, which then was used to calculate the average soil water content of a soil profile (ASWC) and soil water content in a depth interval (ISWC). In total, GPR reflection data of 55 root samples from three computer simulation scenarios and two field experiments in sandy shrubland, one burying roots at known depths and the other under the undisturbed condition, were used to evaluate the proposed method. Results: Both the simulated and the field collected data demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method for measuring root zone soil moisture with high accuracy. Even in the two field experiments, the root-mean-square errors of the estimated ASWC and ISWC relative to measurements from soil cores were as low as 0.003 and 0.012 m 3 ·m −3 , respectively. Conclusion: The proposed method offers a new way of quantifying root zone soil moisture non-invasively that allows repeated measurements. This study expands the application of GPR in root and soil study and enhances our ability to monitor plant-soil-water interactions.",
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Non-invasive estimation of root zone soil moisture from coarse root reflections in ground-penetrating radar images. / Liu, Xinbo; Cui, Xihong; Guo, Li; Chen, Jin; Li, Wentao; Yang, Dedi; Cao, Xin; Chen, Xuehong; Liu, Qixin; Lin, Henry.

In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 436, No. 1-2, 01.03.2019, p. 623-639.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Liu, Xinbo

AU - Cui, Xihong

AU - Guo, Li

AU - Chen, Jin

AU - Li, Wentao

AU - Yang, Dedi

AU - Cao, Xin

AU - Chen, Xuehong

AU - Liu, Qixin

AU - Lin, Hangsheng

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N2 - Background and aims: Root zone soil moisture is an important component in water cycling through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. However, its measurement in the field remains a challenge, especially non-invasively and repeatedly. Here, we developed a new method that uses ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to quantify root zone soil moisture. Methods: Coarse roots were chosen as reflectors to collect GPR radargrams. An automatic hyperbola detection algorithm identified coarse root reflections in GPR radargrams and determined the velocity of GPR wave, which then was used to calculate the average soil water content of a soil profile (ASWC) and soil water content in a depth interval (ISWC). In total, GPR reflection data of 55 root samples from three computer simulation scenarios and two field experiments in sandy shrubland, one burying roots at known depths and the other under the undisturbed condition, were used to evaluate the proposed method. Results: Both the simulated and the field collected data demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method for measuring root zone soil moisture with high accuracy. Even in the two field experiments, the root-mean-square errors of the estimated ASWC and ISWC relative to measurements from soil cores were as low as 0.003 and 0.012 m 3 ·m −3 , respectively. Conclusion: The proposed method offers a new way of quantifying root zone soil moisture non-invasively that allows repeated measurements. This study expands the application of GPR in root and soil study and enhances our ability to monitor plant-soil-water interactions.

AB - Background and aims: Root zone soil moisture is an important component in water cycling through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. However, its measurement in the field remains a challenge, especially non-invasively and repeatedly. Here, we developed a new method that uses ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to quantify root zone soil moisture. Methods: Coarse roots were chosen as reflectors to collect GPR radargrams. An automatic hyperbola detection algorithm identified coarse root reflections in GPR radargrams and determined the velocity of GPR wave, which then was used to calculate the average soil water content of a soil profile (ASWC) and soil water content in a depth interval (ISWC). In total, GPR reflection data of 55 root samples from three computer simulation scenarios and two field experiments in sandy shrubland, one burying roots at known depths and the other under the undisturbed condition, were used to evaluate the proposed method. Results: Both the simulated and the field collected data demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method for measuring root zone soil moisture with high accuracy. Even in the two field experiments, the root-mean-square errors of the estimated ASWC and ISWC relative to measurements from soil cores were as low as 0.003 and 0.012 m 3 ·m −3 , respectively. Conclusion: The proposed method offers a new way of quantifying root zone soil moisture non-invasively that allows repeated measurements. This study expands the application of GPR in root and soil study and enhances our ability to monitor plant-soil-water interactions.

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