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TDR application for automated water level measurement from Mariotte reservoirs in tension disc infiltrometers

AuthorsMoret-Fernández, David ; López Sánchez, María Victoria ; Arrúe Ugarte, José Luis
KeywordsTime domain reflectometry
Water level
Tension disc infiltrometer
Soil hydraulic properties
Issue DateSep-2004
CitationJournal of Hydrology, Volume 297, Issues 1-4, 1 September 2004, Pages 229-235
AbstractThis paper describes the use of an automated method of measuring water level changes in Mariotte-type reservoirs via time domain reflectometry (TDR) and demonstrates its field application for measurements of soil hydraulic properties. The method is based on the assumption that the travel time of a TDR pulse propagating along a transmission line immersed in an air–water medium is the summation of the pulse travel times in the air and water phases. A TDR cable tester generates a pulse that propagates through a three-rod probe traversing the centre of the Mariotte reservoir from top to bottom. The reflection of the pulse is automatically transferred to a computer for waveform analysis with the water level being a simple function of probe length and the air, water, and air–water medium dielectric constants as measured by the cable tester. Water level measurements obtained with the TDR technique showed close agreement with those obtained using visual and pressure transducer procedures. The application of this TDR method as an alternative to more traditional methods was demonstrated in a field experiment using a tension disc infiltrometer. The TDR approach allows for automated water level measurements and is simple, accurate and easy to implement. Moreover, it allows for simultaneous TDR measurements of both water flow and volumetric water content of soil below the infiltrometer disc.
DescriptionThe definitive version is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00221694
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