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Application of TDR to water level measurement
Thomsen, A.; Hansen, B.; Schelde, K. (2000). Application of TDR to water level measurement. J. Hydrol. (Amst.) 236: 252-258
In: Journal of Hydrology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Lausanne; Shannon; Amsterdam. ISSN 0022-1694, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Thomsen, A.
  • Hansen, B.
  • Schelde, K.

Abstract
    A specialised time domain reflectometry (TDR) probe for measuring water level in tanks collecting surface runoff was developed, calibrated and field-tested. The water level probe — in the form of a slightly modified soil moisture probe — was developed as part of a TDR measuring system designed for continuous monitoring of soil water content and surface runoff in plot studies of water erosion and sediment transport. A computer algorithm for the analysis of TDR traces from the new probe was developed and incorporated into existing software for automated acquisition and analysis of TDR data. Laboratory calibration showed that water level could be measured with sufficient accuracy (standard deviation < 2 mm) for a range of applications in hydrology. Soil erosion is typically a short duration process closely linked to soil moisture content and rainfall intensity. A major benefit of integrating time critical measurements of surface runoff and soil moisture into a single system is the synchronisation of measurements. Measurements were made on a regular schedule except during rainfall events when the measuring rate depended on rainfall intensity. In a parallel calibration study it was shown that the performance of the TDR probe was comparable to a commercial ultrasonic liquid level sensor used for measuring runoff at an erosion site not instrumented for automated TDR measurements.

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