Continuous field soil moisture content mapping by means of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) measurement

Viliam Nagy, Gábor Milics, Norbert Smuk, Attila József Kovács, István Balla, Márton Jolánkai, József Deákvári, Kornél D. Szalay, László Fenyvesi, Vlasta Štekauerová, Zoltán Wilhelm, Kálmán Rajkai, Tamás Németh, Miklós Neményi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


A soil moisture content map is important for providing information about the distribution of moisture in a given area. Moisture content directly influences agricultural yield thus it is crucial to have accurate and reliable information about moisture distribution and content in the field. Since soil is a porous medium modified generalized Archie's equation provides the basic formula to calculate moisture content data based on measured ECa. In this study we aimed to find a more accurate and cost effective method for measuring moisture content than manual field sampling. Locations of 25 sampling points were chosen from our research field as a reference. We assumed that soil moisture content could be calculated by measuring apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) using the Veris-3100 on-the-go soil mapping tool. Statistical analysis was carried out on the 10.791 ECa raw data in order to filter the outliers. The applied statistical method was ±1.5 interquartile (IRQ) distance approach. The visualization of soil moisture distribution within the experimental field was carried out by means of ArcGIS/ArcMAP using the inverse distance weighting interpolation method. In the investigated 25 sampling points, coefficient of determination between calculated volumetric moisture content data and measured ECa was R2 = 0.87. According to our results, volumetric moisture content can be mapped by applying ECa measurements in these particular soil types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-312
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2013



  • Apparent electrical conductivity
  • Data preparation and interpolation
  • Moisture content mapping
  • Precision agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

Cite this

Nagy, V., Milics, G., Smuk, N., Kovács, A. J., Balla, I., Jolánkai, M., Deákvári, J., Szalay, K. D., Fenyvesi, L., Štekauerová, V., Wilhelm, Z., Rajkai, K., Németh, T., & Neményi, M. (2013). Continuous field soil moisture content mapping by means of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) measurement. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 61(4), 305-312.