Twelve years of profile soil moisture and temperature measurements in Twente, the Netherlands

R. Van Der Velde*, H.F. Benninga, V. Retsios, P.C. Vermunt, S. Salama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Spread across Twente and its neighbouring regions in the east of the Netherlands, a network of 20 profile soil moisture and temperature (5, 10, 20, 40, and 80ĝ€¯cm depths) monitoring stations was established in 2009. Field campaigns have been conducted covering the growing seasons of 2009, 2015, 2016, and 2017, during which soil sampling rings and handheld probes were used to measure the top 5ĝ€¯cm volumetric soil moisture content (VSM) of 28 fields near 12 monitoring stations. In this paper, we describe the design of the monitoring network and the field campaigns, adopted instrumentation, experimental setup, field sampling strategies, and the development of sensor calibration functions. Maintenance and quality control procedures and issues specific to the Twente network are discussed. Moreover, we provide an overview of open third-party datasets (i.e. land cover/use, soil information, elevation, groundwater, and meteorological observations) that can support the use and analysis of the Twente soil moisture and temperature datasets beyond the scope of this contribution. An indication for the spatial representativeness of the permanent monitoring stations is provided through comparisons of the 5ĝ€¯cm station measurements with the top 5ĝ€¯cm field-Averaged VSM derived from the field campaign measurements. The results reveal in general reasonable agreements and root mean squared errors that are dominated by underestimations of the field-Averaged VSM, which is particularly apparent for the grass fields and is strong after heavy rain. Further, we discuss the prospects the datasets offer to investigate (i) the reliability of soil moisture references that serve the development and validation of soil moisture products, and (ii) the water and energy exchanges across the groundwater-vadose-zone-Atmosphere continuum within a lowland environment in a changing climate. The datasets discussed are publicly available at 10.17026/dans-znj-wyg5 (Van der Velde et al., 2022).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1910
Number of pages22
JournalEarth system science data
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023




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