By Samuel | August 6, 2021
26 active lysimeters, total 119 m2
The GroundTruth lysimeter system has been quietly growing for several years. To date, 27 lysimeters have been installed, of which 26 are presently active. The active lysimeters have a total area of 119 m2 (equivalent area to almost 600 standard column lysimeters). On an area basis, Grounded is therefore actively measuring leaching from an area that rivals the leaching research facilities of the largest universities and CRIs in New Zealand.
Largest lysimeter: 10.2 m2
Leaching is highly variable within a paddock. There are two ways to account for this variability - lots of small lysimeters, or a smaller number of large lysimeters. GroundTruth takes the second approach, and takes it to unprecedented extremes. This allows urine and non-urine areas to be captured and averaged within a single lysimeter.
The largest individual lysimeter currently in use has an area of 10.2 m2, and to our knowledge would be the second-largest single lysimeter in New Zealand, second only to an experimental one-off lysimeter built from a shipping container by Landcare Research (which may no longer be in active use). GroundTruth’s large lysimeter is by comparison being actively used for research, alongside two more of comparable sizes.
The majority of the lysimeters installed have an area of approximately 4 m2, which has been found to be the most practical size, and is still enormous by comparison to anything else on the market.
Largest installation: 19 lysimeters, 75 m2
GroundTruth lysimeters are ideal for plot trials, as they allow leaching losses to be collected on a similar scale to the field plots commonly used for forage and fertiliser evaluation trials. This means that a single trial can be used to determine both production and leaching losses, resulting in major potential savings for research costs.
The largest single installation is in Canterbury, for a government-funded research project, and includes an array of 19 lysimeters for a replicated plot trial, with a total area of 75 m2. This is likely the largest individual lysimeter array in the country by area. More information about this installation will be shared in a future post.
All these lysimeters are monitored in real-time, and the data up to no more than 1 hour ago is available online. To see an example, click the “My Data” link at the top of this page, and use “demo” as the username and password. This will display live data from one of these lysimeters.
In future, articles will appear on this blog with information about individual installations. In the meantime, for more information contact us here