NRCS Scientists Add Amoozemeter to Soil Evaluation Tools
New Hampshire NRCS recently held a workshop on using the Compact Constant Head Permeameter (a.k.a Amoozemeter) at the UNH Cooperative Extension building in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Created by Dr. Amoozegar of North Carolina State University, the Amoozemeter is a well permeameter that can help field scientists run measurements of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) of soils and fill material at sites that previously proved to be a challenge to measure. Dr. Phil Schoeneberger, a Research Soil Scientist at the NRCS National Soil Survey Center in Lincoln, NE, shared his "cookbook recipe" for using the Amoozemeter.
Other measurement tools exist, such as the popular bore hole method, but Dr. Schoeneberger has been promoting the Amoozemeter for 15 years as it has proved to diminish the variability of data due to user technique. An Amoozemeter is composed of a set of four constant-head tubes, a 5-liter water reservoir, a flow-measuring reservoir, a water-dissipating unit, and a base housing a three-way valve that connects the two reservoirs and the water-dissipating unit together. The Amoozemeter uses the constant head tubes to keep a constant head in the bore hole and then the water drop from the reservoirs is measured over time.
Compact, portable, and versatile
No field assembly required
5-liter useful water capacity allows measurement of Ksat in most soils
Large opening for quick filling and refilling of reservoirs
Can be used on any landscape position without additional support
Water can be stored in the unit during transport
Can be easily transported for measurement in remote locations
Constructed of durable PVC and polycarbonate to withstand field use
However, any technique or tool has its limits: the device won't work at or below the water table or in thick or very rocky soil through which you can't bore a hole; and it can be considered costly to some budget limited scientists.
A dozen NRCS scientists put the Amoozemeter to the test in Merrimack County's Canterbury fine sandy loam soil, a soil typically found central NH. Dr. Schoeneberger suggests using the Amoozemeter at sites where other data have been taken to build a better reference, such as benchmark soils.
Karen Dudley, NRCS Soil Scientist
For more information on specific uses and technology of the Amoozemeter, visit www.usyd.edu.au/su/agric/web04/Amooze-final.htm
For information on rental of the Amoosemeter and equipment visit: The Merrimack County Conservation District