Electrical impedance imaging of water distribution in the root zone

Paul Newill, Dejan Karadaglic, Frank Podd, Bruce Grieve, Trevor York

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The paper describes a technique that is proposed for imaging water transport in and around the root zone of plants using distributed measurements of electrical impedance. The technique has the potential to analyse sub-surface phenotypes, for instance drought tolerance traits in crop breeding programmes. The technical aim is to implement an automated, low cost, instrument for high-throughput screening. Ultimately the technique is targeted at in-field, on-line, measurements. For demonstration purposes the present work considers measurements on laboratory scale rhizotrons housing growing maize plants. Each rhizotron is fitted with 60 electrodes in a rectangular array. To reduce electrochemical effects the capacitively coupled contactless conductivity (C4D) electrodes have an insulating layer on the surface and the resistance of the bulk material is deduced from spectroscopic considerations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number055110
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
    Issue number5
    Early online date8 Apr 2014
    Publication statusPublished - May 2014


    • capacitively-coupled contactless conductivity
    • electrical impedance imaging
    • root zone monitoring
    • soil moisture

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