Jan 01

The use of novel thick-film sensors in the estimation of soil structural changes through the correlation of soil electrical conductivity and soil water content

Marios Sophocleous, Prof John Atkinson, Dr Joel Smethurst, Gerardo Espindola Garcia and Alessia Ingenito

Sensors and Actuators A: Physical

Volume 301, 1 January 2020, 111773




Novel, low-cost, screen-printed (thick-film) conductivity sensors have been incorporated into laboratory-based soil columns together with water-content sensors, so that changes in the soil structure could be monitored through correlation of changes in soil conductivity and water content during cyclic wetting and drying of the soil. Significant differences were found in the relationship between the electrical conductivity and water content (CWC) characteristics for the different soil types tested. It was also found that cyclic wetting and draining of the soils, such as would occur due to natural climate effects, produces changes in the CWC characteristics that are indicative of soil structural change.