Monitoring water table on the Loddon Floodplain Platform begins…

Monday 24 October 2016 was the start of the environmental monitoring activities in the floodplain area of the Lower Loddon.  

With the help of Groundwater Monitoring and Drilling Ltd and Quaternary Scientific (QUEST), we installed two boreholes on Loddon meadow and one on a nearby field at the University of Reading Farm, near Arborfield. The British Geological Survey lent us some drill parts which meant we could use QUEST’s pneumatic drill (Figure 1) for ‘window sampling’, to inspect and sample the layering of the clay soil and groundwater aquifer material (sand & gravels) underneath (Figure 2), as well as for borehole installation (Figure 3 to 7).
On Friday 4 November the water table sensors (Figure 8) were inserted in the groundwater filled tubes.  Water table is measured from the pressure exerted by the water column above the sensor. We also installed three sets of soil moisture and soil temperature sensors connected to a telemetered datalogger (Figure 9 and 10).  Telemetry systems enables us to access data recorded by the sensor through the mobile phone network from the office – no need to get your feet wet downloading data!

Before the end of 2016, we plan to install a weather station to record rainfall and measurements needed to estimate evaporation.  We will then have a baseline monitoring set-up in place to support our teaching and learning activities for our current and future undergraduate students, as well as PhD and research projects looking at flooding and floodplain processes.

For further information, please contact Prof Anne Verhoef.