Calibration and use of pressure transducers in soil hydrology

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Abstract

Laboratory and field experiments demonstrated that solid state pressure transducers are accurate and reliable devices for frequent measurements of soil suction. However, each transducer had to be individually calibrated before use and a hanging column procedure designed for this purpose is described. Analysis showed that each transducer had a linear response and that environmental conditions such as temperature had minimal influence. Twenty four tensiometers with pressure transducers were intalled in a forest soil to test their operation and their output was monitored by a data logger. An example of soil suction results measured during four storms is given to demonstrate their stability and their rapid response. The transducers were found to perform accurately and were only affected by temperatures below 0°C.

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