GLOBE Connections

Measuring Soil Moisture: GLOBE Overview


Phenomena: Soil Moisture (located in the Pedosphere Soil GLOBE Resources)  Data collection of soil temperature, moisture, and physical and chemical properties is invaluable to scientists in many fields: soil scientists use the data to better understand their potential for plant growth; hydrologists use the data to determine potential sedimentation in water bodies; meteorologists and climatologists use soil data in climate prediction models as soils can affect humidity and temperature; biologists use soil data to understand its potential for supporting plant and animal life; and anthropologists study the soil in order to reconstruct the human history of an area. Scientists on the SMAP satellite mission science team use surface soil moisture student diggingmeasurements to help calibrate and validate SMAP satellite data.

Essential Questions:

  1. What other GLOBE schools have patterns of soil moisture similar to yours?

  2. How many weeks of the year is your soil relatively wet or relatively dry?

  3. Which areas around your school are usually dry or wet? Why?

  4. Which holds the most water: clay, sand, or silt? Why?

  5. Does the type of land cover affect the amount of water that enters the soil? Does it affect the rate at which soil dries out following a rainstorm?

  6. How are soil moisture and relative humidity related?

  7. How are soil moisture and soil and air temperatures related?