Measuring Soil Moisture: Protocols and Data Sheets
Soil moisture plays a major role in the chemical, biological and physical activities that take place in the soil. Chemically, moisture transports substances through the profile. This affects soil properties such as color, texture, pH, and fertility. Biologically, moisture determines the types of plants that grow in the soil and affects the way the roots are distributed. Physically, soil moisture is part of the hydrologic cycle. Water falls on the soil surface as precipitation. This water seeps down into the soil in a process called infiltration.
NASA has flown the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to measure this environmental property. Calibration and validation of SMAP data need in situ measurements of surface soil moisture, and GLOBE and SMAP have partnered to obtain these data from GLOBE participants.
- Soil (Pedosphere) Investigation-SMAP Block