Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1029/2021GL093924
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Neutrons on rails: Transregional monitoring of soil moisture and snow water equivalent
Author Schrön, M.; Oswald, S.E.; Zacharias, S.; Kasner, M.; Dietrich, P. ORCID logo ; Attinger, S.
Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Year 2021
Department CHS; MET
Volume 48
Issue 24
Page From e2021GL093924
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords soil moisture; trans-regional; multi-scale; snow water equivalent; cosmic-ray neutron sensing; railway
UFZ wide themes TERENO; MOSES;
Abstract Large-scale measurements of the spatial distribution of water content in soils and snow are challenging for state-of-the-art hydrogeophysical methods. Cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) is a non-invasive technology that has the potential to bridge the scale gap between conventional in-situ sensors and remote-sensing products in both, horizontal and vertical domains. In this study we explore the feasibility and potential of estimating water content in soils and snow with neutron detectors in moving trains. Theoretical considerations quantify the stochastic measurement uncertainty as a function of water content, altitude, resolution, and detector efficiency. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the sensitivity of measured water content is almost unperturbed by train materials. And finally three distinct real world experiments provide a proof of concept on short and long-range tracks. With our results a trans-regional observational soil moisture product becomes a realistic vision within the next years.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schrön, M., Oswald, S.E., Zacharias, S., Kasner, M., Dietrich, P., Attinger, S. (2021):
Neutrons on rails: Transregional monitoring of soil moisture and snow water equivalent
Geophys. Res. Lett. 48 (24), e2021GL093924