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Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental

versão impressa ISSN 1415-4366versão On-line ISSN 1807-1929


PONCIANO, Isaac de M. et al. Metrological assessment of TDR performance for measurement of potassium concentration in soil solution. Rev. bras. eng. agríc. ambient. [online]. 2016, vol.20, n.4, pp.343-349. ISSN 1807-1929.

Despite the growing use of the time domain reflectometry (TDR) technique to monitoring ions in the soil solution, there are few studies that provide insight into measurement error. To overcome this lack of information, a methodology, based on the central limit theorem error, was used to quantify the uncertainty associated with using the technique to estimate potassium ion concentration in two soil types. Mathematical models based on electrical conductivity and soil moisture derived from TDR readings were used to estimate potassium concentration, and the results were compared to potassium concentration determined by flame spectrophotometry. It was possible to correct for random and systematic errors associated with TDR readings, significantly increasing the accuracy of the potassium estimation methodology. However, a single TDR reading can lead to an error of up to ± 18.84 mg L-1 K+ in soil solution (0 to 3 dS m-1), with a 95.42% degree of confidence, for a loamy sand soil; and an error of up to ± 12.50 mg L-1 of K+ (0 to 2.5 dS m-1) in soil solution, with a 95.06% degree of confidence, for a sandy clay soil.

Palavras-chave : central limit theorem; instrumentation; electrical conductivity.

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