COSMOS-UK soil moisture monitoring sites are distributed UK-wide across a representative range of land use and soil types. The innovation provided by COSMOS-UK comes from the use of a sensor that exploits cosmic-rays to measure soil moisture over an area of about 12 hectares (about 30 acres). Each site is equipped with a sensor that sits above ground and operates automatically to deliver data remotely. This contrasts with other sensors that are intrusive, effectively point-scale, or require an on-site operator. Meteorological and other related data is also recorded at each site.
First established in 2013, the COSMOS-UK soil moisture monitoring network grew to 49 active sites by 2022. The network is still developing in terms of the number of stations deployed and services offered to users.
The COSMOS-UK network is the world's most spatially dense national network of cosmic-ray neutron sensors for observing near-surface field-scale soil water dynamics. The dataset is a unique and growing resource that has already captured soil water dynamics across a wide range of climatic conditions, including extreme events such as the extended cold wave, heatwave, and agricultural drought the UK experienced during 2018. As the length of the data record continues to grow, COSMOS-UK will provide an unprecedented resource for national-scale environmental monitoring.
The COSMOS-UK network comprises 49 sites across the UK.
COSMOS-UK is funded through UKRI-NERC National Capability LTSS: UK-SCaPE programme
Users of COSMOS-UK outputs include: the UK hydrological science community; farmers; water managers and regulators.
26 October 2022 12:16