Three years of soil moisture observations by a dense cosmic-ray neutron sensing cluster at an agricultural research site in north-east Germany
Abstract. Cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) allows for the estimation of root-zone soil water content (SWC) at the scale of several hectares. In this paper, we present the data recorded by a dense CRNS network operated from 2019 to 2022 at an agricultural research site in Marquardt, Germany – the first multi-year CRNS cluster. Consisting, at its core, of eight permanently installed CRNS sensors, the cluster was supplemented by a wealth of complementary measurements: data from seven additional temporary CRNS sensors, partly collocated with the permanent ones, 27 SWC-profiles (mostly permanent), two groundwater observation wells, meteorological records, and global navigation satellite system reflectometry (GNSS-R). Complementary to these continuous measurements, numerous campaign-based activities provided data by mobile CRNS-roving, hyperspectral imagery via unmanned aerial systems (UAS), intensive manual sampling of soil properties (SWC, bulk density, organic matter, texture, soil hydraulic properties), and observations of biomass and snow (cover, depth, and density). The unique temporal coverage of three years entails a broad spectrum of hydro-meteorological conditions, including exceptional drought periods, extreme rainfall, but also episodes of snow coverage, as well as a dedicated irrigation experiment. Apart from serving to advance CRNS-related retrieval methods, this data set is expected to be useful for various disciplines, e.g. soil and groundwater hydrology, agriculture, or remote sensing. Hence, we show exemplary features of the data set in order to highlight the potential for such subsequent studies. The data is available at https://doi.org/10.23728/b2share.edfdaa0d2a82477fa512bde3f53312f2 (Heistermann et al., 2022b).
Maik Heistermann et al.
Status: final response (author comments only)
RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-19', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Mar 2023
- AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Maik Heistermann, 14 Apr 2023
RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-19', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Apr 2023
- AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Maik Heistermann, 14 Apr 2023
Maik Heistermann et al.
Three years of soil moisture observations by a dense cosmic-ray neutron sensing cluster at an agricultural research site in north-east Germany https://doi.org/10.23728/b2share.edfdaa0d2a82477fa512bde3f53312f2
Maik Heistermann et al.
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REVIEW OF: Three years of soil moisture observations by a dense cosmic-ray neutron sensing cluster at an agricultural research site in north-east Germany
Heistermann et al
This data paper concerns an extensive data set of cosmic ray soil moisture systems (permanent, temporary and roving) and a large array of complementary observations to aid in data utilisation and processing. The paper is generally well written and data presentation is of a high quality. The coverage of a very wide range of environmental conditions within the dataset makes it a useful reference dataset for a range of investigations. It would be good to see a volumetric soil moisture dataset for the static CRNS so that non-experts can use the data without having to derive their own calibration. The data is there for those with more experience to run their own calibration procedure.
I have no major issue with publication subject to minor comments below.
L14 – would be useful if this was a hyperlink. It is, after all, the main focus of the paper
L24 – suggest “allowing users to obtain”
L57 – suggest “hence allowing”
L62 – suggest “ …spanning all seasons and providing observations across more diverse…”
L66 – suggest “ …not only allows studying of the effect of the vertical soil moisture distribution on the CRNS signal, but also, together with groundwater observations, facilitates investigation of the processes of infiltration and groundwater recharge.”
L71 – suggest “…muon-monitoring allows studying of novel methods for the local correction…”
Table 1, 3.4 – does the Roving data not include lat/long and elevation?
L103 – isn’t the Quaesta instrument the same that is sold through Hydroinnova just under licence?
L150 – how is this justified/calculated?
L163 – what depth does the GNSS method reflect? Is it fixed or moisture dependent – more information is required
L217 – do you mean accuracy of 0.05 m3/m3?
L201 – suggest “... using a weighing pluviometer…”
Figure 6 caption – suggest “weight-based pluviometer” or just “weighing pluviometer”
Climate.zip – the files are .csv (comma separated values) but the text in the files is tab delimited. They should be .tsv or .tab files
CRNS_roving.zip – again the files are not comma delimited – they are tab delimited so the file extension is not correct
CRNS_stationary.zip – it would be nice to have an actual worked version of the soil moisture data with a time series of CRNS soil moisture – this would help non-CRNS researchers to use the data based on the processing method that you specify. All the other data for processing is alternative ways is there if required for more advanced users.
Soil_moisture_manual_sampling.zip – the file called theta_grav_OM_LW_texture.txt does not have lattice water values