The Raam regional soil moisture monitoring network in the Netherlands
Abstract. We have established a soil moisture profile monitoring network in the Raam region in the Netherlands. This region faces water shortages during summers and excess of water during winters and after extreme precipitation events. Water management can benefit from reliable information on the soil water availability and water storing capacity in the unsaturated zone. In situ measurements provide a direct source of information on which water managers can base their decisions. Moreover, these measurements are commonly used as a reference for the calibration and validation of soil moisture content products derived from earth observations or obtained by model simulations. Distributed over the Raam region, we have equipped 14 agricultural fields and 1 natural grass field with soil moisture and soil temperature monitoring instrumentation, consisting of Decagon 5TM sensors installed at depths of 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 cm. In total, 12 stations are located within the Raam catchment (catchment area of 223 km2), and 5 of these stations are located within the closed sub-catchment Hooge Raam (catchment area of 41 km2). Soil-specific calibration functions that have been developed for the 5TM sensors under laboratory conditions lead to an accuracy of 0.02 m3 m−3. The first set of measurements has been retrieved for the period 5 April 2016–4 April 2017. In this paper, we describe the Raam monitoring network and instrumentation, the soil-specific calibration of the sensors, the first year of measurements, and additional measurements (soil temperature, phreatic groundwater levels and meteorological data) and information (elevation, soil physical characteristics, land cover and a geohydrological model) available for performing scientific research. The data are available at https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:dc364e97-d44a-403f-82a7-121902deeb56.