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