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Digital Geodata Series
DGS10-1 Dielectric Permittivity as a Function of Water Content For Selected New Jersey Soils

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This report (MS Excel™ workbook) contains data on the dielectric permittivity as a function of water content for selected New Jersey soils. This report contains basic data on sample locations, soil descriptions, sampling and laboratory techniques, and laboratory measurements. Later reports will develop the relationship between dielectric permittivity and soil water content for the sampled soils.

The dielectric permittivity is a measure of how well a soil transmits an electrical current. This is a function of the water content and the soil. Once the nonlinear relationship has been established then electrical probe measurements can yield information on soil water content (aka soil moisture).

As part of New Jersey's initiative to monitor drought, soil-moisture probes were installed at selected NJ Mesonet sites. The NJ Mesonet is a series of state-of-the-art meteorological sites that are part of the New Jersey Weather & Climate Network. A single soil-moisture probe is in place at 10 sites: Berkeley, Charlotteburg, Highpoint, Liberty, New Brunswick, Pequest, Pittstown, Sea Girt, Sicklerville and Woodbine. Probes were installed at these stations by inserting them vertically into the ground. Soil samples from these stations are from the upper 10 cm of soil.

At three sites (Cream Ridge, Oswego Lake, and Upper Deerfield) multiple soil-moisture probes are installed at different depths. This was done by first digging a pit. Probes were inserted horizontally at depths that indicated a change in soil composition. Soil samples from these sites are indicative of soil horizons at the indicated depths.

This report provides information on dielectric permittivity as a function of soil water content for soil sampled at the depth of each installed soil-moisture probe and on following soil properties: particle size distribution, water retention, pH, electrical conductivity, and organic matter content.

NJ Mesonet and the New Jersey Weather and Climate Network (NJWxNet) stations map

Probe Map

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