In an effort to provide standardized and more efficient ways to install soil sensors, NEON recently purchased the first of several soil coring machines that will be used to create boreholes which will be used to install soil sensors up to three meters deep at all 60 terrestrial sites around the US.
Specifically, the machines will hasten the installation of multiple soil temperature, soil moisture and CO2 concentration sensors at each site. A total of at least 1500 boreholes will be constructed. Using a machine to produce the boreholes is much faster than auguring them by hand and will help ensure that the boreholes are constructed consistently across all 60 sites, regardless of soil type.
In order to generate high quality soil data it is essential the soil surrounding each sensor is only minimally disturbed. To achieve this, the sensor installation crew will be performing extensive testing with the new coring machine to determine the optimal installation strategy to ensure minimal disturbance.
This is the first of several soil coring machines that NEON will purchase and deploy around the country.