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Why is soil moisture presented as both an absolute value (graph) and a percent of available soil water (cups)?

The absolute value represents the current soil moisture relative to the soil type where the sensor is installed. Thus, in a sandy soil “ field capacity” may be 18% soil moisture and in a loamy soil it may be at 25%.

The percent is used to normalize the volumetric soil moisture to field capacity and the refill point, so at field capacity the content is set to 100% and at the refill point it is 0% and this is independent of the soil type.

 

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