ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

Deployment of Non-Invasive Soil Moisture Instrumentation a Success

Cosmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System

06 Jul 2011

Image: Cosmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System [Click image to enlarge]

Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr. Trenton Franz, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona, has successfully installed the COSMOS probe at Shale Hills. The probe consists of two gas filled chambers and a datalogger, which count and record the number of cosmic-ray neutrons, respectively. Neutrons counted over a period of time are correlated to the volumetric water content over a 700 m diameter circle and 10-70 cm of soil. Our instrument is number 39 of the initial 50 to be deployed across the continental United States, with all real-time data freely available to the public to view and download at

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