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Sidewall tensiometer and method of determining soil moisture potential in below-grade earthen soil

United States Patent

July 24, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
A sidewall tensiometer to in situ determine below-grade soil moisture potential of earthen soil includes, a) a body adapted for insertion into an opening in earthen soil below grade, the body having lateral sidewalls; b) a laterally oriented porous material provided relative to the body lateral sidewalls, the laterally oriented porous material at least in part defining a fluid chamber within the body; c) a pressure a sensor in fluid communication with the fluid chamber; and d) sidewall engaging means for engaging a portion of a sidewall of an earth opening to laterally urge the porous material into hydraulic communication with earthen soil of another portion of the opening sidewall. Methods of taking tensiometric measurements are also disclosed.
Hubbell; Joel M. (Idaho Falls, ID), Sisson; James B. (Idaho Falls, ID)
Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID)
08/ 884,480
June 27, 1997
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under contract number DE-AC07-76ID01570 between the U.S. Department of Energy and EG&G Idaho, Inc., now contract number DE-AC07-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.