Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3389/frwa.2020.00010
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Error estimation for soil moisture measurements with cosmic ray neutron sensing and implications for rover surveys
Author Jakobi, J.; Huisman, J.A.; Schrön, M.; Fiedler, J.; Brogi, C.; Vereecken, H.; Bogena, H.R.
Source Titel Frontiers in Water
Year 2020
Department MET
Volume 2
Page From art. 10
Language englisch
Keywords cosmic ray neutron sensing; error propagation; aggregation; cosmic ray rover; uncertainty
Abstract Cosmic ray neutron (CRN) sensing allows for non-invasive soil moisture measurements at the field scale and relies on the inverse correlation between aboveground measured epithermal neutron intensity (1 eV−100 keV) and environmental water content. The measurement uncertainty follows Poisson statistics and thus increases with decreasing neutron intensity, which corresponds to increasing soil moisture. In order to reduce measurement uncertainty, the neutron count rate is usually aggregated over 12 or 24 h time windows for stationary CRN probes. To obtain accurate soil moisture estimates with mobile CRN rover applications, the aggregation of neutron measurements is also necessary and should consider soil wetness and driving speed. To date, the optimization of spatial aggregation of mobile CRN observations in order to balance measurement accuracy and spatial resolution of soil moisture patterns has not been investigated in detail. In this work, we present and apply an easy-to-use method based on Gaussian error propagation theory for uncertainty quantification of soil moisture measurements obtained with CRN sensing. We used a 3rd order Taylor expansion for estimating the soil moisture uncertainty from uncertainty in neutron counts and compared the results to a Monte Carlo approach with excellent agreement. Furthermore, we applied our method with selected aggregation times to investigate how CRN rover survey design affects soil moisture estimation uncertainty. We anticipate that the new approach can be used to improve the strategic planning and evaluation of CRN rover surveys based on uncertainty requirements.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Jakobi, J., Huisman, J.A., Schrön, M., Fiedler, J., Brogi, C., Vereecken, H., Bogena, H.R. (2020):
Error estimation for soil moisture measurements with cosmic ray neutron sensing and implications for rover surveys
Front. Water 2 , art. 10 10.3389/frwa.2020.00010