Multi-functional heat pulse probe measurements of coupled vadose zone flow and transport

Annette P. Mortensen, Jan W. Hopmans, Yasushi Mori, Jirka Šimůnek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Simultaneous measurement of coupled water, heat, and solute transport in unsaturated porous media is made possible with the multi-functional heat pulse probe (MFHPP). The probe combines a heat pulse technique for estimating soil heat properties, water flux, and water content with a Wenner array measurement of bulk soil electrical conductivity (ECbulk). To evaluate the MFHPP, we conducted controlled steady-state flow experiments in a sand column for a wide range of water saturations, flow velocities, and solute concentrations. Flow and transport processes were monitored continuously using the MFHPP. Experimental data were analyzed by inverse modeling of simultaneous water, heat, and solute transport using an adapted HYDRUS-2D model. Various optimization scenarios yielded simultaneous estimation of thermal, solute, and hydraulic parameters and variables, including thermal conductivity, volumetric water content, water flux, and thermal and solute dispersivities. We conclude that the MFHPP holds great promise as an excellent instrument for the continuous monitoring and characterization of the vadose zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-267
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Dispersion
  • Heat pulse probe
  • Heat transport
  • Solute transport
  • Unsaturated flow
  • Vadose zone properties
  • Water content
  • Water flux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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