- Connecting catchment hydrology and soil physics - - Big data analysis forest hydrology -
Big Data: working with 900 soil moisture sensors
With the new emerging technique of building a wireless soil moisture sensor network (SoilNet, TERENO Wuestebach), including 900 sensor units, there is a need for new opportunities to look at spatial and temporal soil moisture data. Part of my PhD project is devoted to finding innovative ways to work with this data set to get new insights in vadose zone hydrology and link it to catchment hydrology.
Click HERE for more information about SoilNet Wüstebach and HERE for more general information about the sensor unit technology.
Detecting Preferential Flow Occurrence at the Catchment Scale
One part of my PhD focuses on the detection of preferential flow pathways at the catchment scale:
The highly dynamic nature of preferential flow in time and space makes it challenging to identify and analyzeits occurrence at the catchment scale. Novel analysis methods using soil moisture sensor response times offer an opportunity to investigate catchment-wide controls on preferential flow.
The aim of this study was to identify factors thatcontrol preferential flow occurrence using a sensor response time analysis on a 3 year data set of soil moisture
measurements made with a dense wireless sensor network in the Wüstebach catchment, Germany.
The Deforestation Setup
In August 2013, spruce trees within an area of 9 ha were almost completely removed from the Wüstebach catchment. With the unique setup at this catchment, a detailed image on the consequences of this deforestation on all hydrological fluxes can be extensively investigated.
Changes in spatial-temporal soil moisture patterns and water movement caused by partial deforestation in the small headwater catchment can be observed in detail, giving better insights in the direct feedback mechanisms and the effect of the location of deforestation.
This PhD could not have been possible without the help of the TERENO platform, giving me the opportunity to work a unique & very rich data set. Want to more know more about TERENO? Go to the TERENO platform to find out more about related research studies.