2018 SEG International Exposition and Annual Meeting,
Anaheim, California, USA
2018. Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a commonly used tool for estimating volumetric water content of soils. Given the similar dielectric properties of soil and wood, GPR can also be used to estimate volumetric water content of living tree trunks, which is a difficult measure to make directly and important to quantifying tree-water use. Straight-ray tomography results in synthetic models show significant errors in volumetric water content near the sapwood/heartwood boundary exceeding 10% vol./vol. Ray bending at this interface is not accounted for in the tomography algorithm and is likely the symptom of most of the error. Similar waveform patterns were observed in GPR data collected on an actual tree trunk: significant scattering of the GPR energy from the rough bark was observed, but a reflection from the sapwood/heartwood boundary was not, indicating that the latter boundary may be more gradual than conceptualized in the simplified synthetic tree.
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