Keynote Speech: Significance of Soil Moisture Content and its Measurement Techniques
Soil moisture is an inevitable part of the soil and has a significant influence on the engineering, agronomic, geological, ecological, biological, and hydrological behavior of the soil mass. A small change in the soil moisture content alters the behavior or mechanical properties of the soil mass, viz., consistency, compatibility, cracking, swelling, shrinkage, and density. The soil moisture content can be considered as a multi-disciplinary parameter as it has been used as a critical parameter in civil, agricultural, and environmental engineering disciplines. In geotechnical engineering, construction of embankments, pavements, earthen dam, retaining walls, foundations, evaluation of contaminant transport within the unsaturated zone, and slope stability determination, spatial and temporal soil moisture content variation has vital importance. Furthermore, it has a significant role to play as far as plant growth, organization of the natural ecosystems, and biodiversity are concerned. In the agriculture sector, adequate and timely moisture for irrigation, depending upon the soil-moisture-plant environment, is essential for crop production.
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