Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Soil water content probes installed!

Another phase of the C-111 project was completed this week with the installation of soil water content probes in agricultural areas along the C-111 canal.

Part I: installing access tubes

The first part of the installation focused on laying down the infastructure for probe insertion. To this end, the Water Resource Engineering team, with invaluable assistance from special guests Bruce and Manny, drilled holes adjacent to the monitoring wells at six sites.

Once a hole is ready, the probe access tube is inserted and cemented in place – ideally with a thin coat of cement lining the tube and the hole’s interior.

One research site was so water-logged, the team decided to delay equipment installation until late fall, south Florida's dry season.

Probe head-unit stands were also installed and painted bright orange to protect equipment from errant heavy machinery.

Part II: inserting and launching probes

Despite unwavering companionship from feisty mosquitoes, the Water Resource Engineering team set about inserting and launching the soil water content probes.

This task involved mounting the probe head-unit (power source) to the stand and then running its wire into the access tube and connecting it to the probe.

Once powered, the probe is connected to the laptop. The current date/time is updated, and the probe data collecting launch time is set.

In all, ten probes were installed – two for each of five sites characterized by the dominant soil types in the C-111 area: Biscayne (gravelly marl), Krome (very gravelly loam), and Chekika (very gravelly loam). Every 15 minutes, probes will take soil water content readings at depths of 10, 20, 30 & 40cm.

Next stop: tensiometers!


  1. Thanks again for the great post Mike. Although he didn't include any of his pictures... Mike was there for all activities! It has been a crazy few weeks but I think that our results are fab. These sensors went in without a catch today due to Mike's prep work. Looking forward to seeing the data.

  2. Hi Mike, great post. I like your pictures. Thank you all for the hard work.

  3. What a crazy couple of weeks, and now the mosquitoes have invaded. So happy for the most part, everything is up and running!

  4. hi, can you explain to me as does this probe to measure the water content of the soil and the theory works as sensores electrodes with the ground and thank you in advance.
    this my email :