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Title: Tensiometer and method of determining soil moisture potential in below-grade earthen soil

A portable tensiometer to in situ determine below-grade soil moisture potential of earthen soil includes, a) a body having opposing first and second ends and being adapted for complete insertion into earthen soil below grade; b) a porous material provided at the first body end, the porous material at least in part defining a fluid chamber within the body at the first body end, the fluid chamber being fluidically sealed within the body but for the porous material; c) a degassed liquid received within the fluid chamber; d) a pressure transducer mounted in fluid communication with the fluid chamber; e) the body, pressure transducer and degassed liquid having a combined mass; f) a flexible suspension line connected to the body adjacent the second body end, the flexible line being of sufficient strength to gravitationally freely self suspend the combined mass; and c) the combined mass being sufficient to effectively impart hydraulic communication between below-grade earthen soil contacted by the porous material under the weight of the combined mass. Tensiometers configured to engage the sidewalls of an earthen opening are also disclosed. Methods of taking tensiometric measurements are also disclosed.
Inventors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. (Idaho Falls, ID)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
871032
Assignee:
Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company (Idaho Falls, ID) INEEL
Patent Number(s):
US 5644947
Contract Number:
AC07-94ID13223; AC07-76ID01570
Research Org:
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
tensiometer; method; determining; soil; moisture; potential; below-grade; earthen; portable; situ; determine; opposing; adapted; complete; insertion; below; grade; porous; material; provided; defining; fluid; chamber; fluidically; sealed; degassed; liquid; received; pressure; transducer; mounted; communication; combined; mass; flexible; suspension; line; connected; adjacent; sufficient; strength; gravitationally; freely; suspend; effectively; impart; hydraulic; contacted; weight; tensiometers; configured; engage; sidewalls; disclosed; methods; taking; tensiometric; measurements; moisture potential; soil moisture; below grade; line connected; fluid chamber; porous material; fluid communication; pressure transducer; sufficient strength; material provided; earthen soil; situ determine; below-grade soil; soil below; below-grade earthen; determining soil; determine below-grade; flexible line; /73/