Real-time soil moisture measurements are essential to manage for adaptive dynamic management of climate change adaptation and reduction of nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forestry. Soil moisture status influences crop growth, run-off, groundwater recharge, land surface-atmospheric exchange dynamics and greenhouse gas emissions as well as the risk of forest fire danger. Here we present the new Irish Soil Moisture Observation Network (ISMON) as an umbrella to bring together several recently established long-term environmental observational networks. These are: 1) initiative of the AGMET group (agmet.ie), 2) COSMOS UK – Northern Ireland, 3) Teagasc NASCO (National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory) and 4) Terrain-AI, all of which include several different methodologies for measuring soil moisture at field scale. For instance, AGMET is installing novel cosmic ray neutron sensors which can provide field averaged soil moisture estimates (400m diameter) and Teagasc NASCO and Terrain AI are using Time Domain Reflectometry probes. Such networks are seen as necessary to resolving the problem of scale between point, field-based measurements and satellite-derived soil moisture products and are important in monitoring key biogeochemical processes that vary rapidly in time and space. In the initial phase of the implementation of the ISMON network, the current distribution of the stations in relation to the other networks are presented. The ISMON aims to represent the most relevant soil types, land cover, and regional climate regimes to corroborate direct measurements of soil moisture; it will adapt its design to improve the monitoring network as required. The ISMON will make a valuable contribution to, and expand the international soil moisture monitoring network.
How to cite: Finkele, K., Hochstrasser, T., Murphy, P. N. C., Daly, E., Jarmain, C., Richards, K., Fenton, O., Cummins, T., Saunders, M., Johnston, P. M., Bruen, M., Byrne, K. A., Delaney, D. T., Fealy, R., Green, S., Higgins, S., Hunter Williams, N., Lanigan, G., McCarthy, T., McCormack, T., Mellander, P.-E., Nicholson, O., Nugent, C., O'Loughlin, F., Tobin, B., Tuohy, P., and Whetton, R.: The new Irish Soil Moisture Observation Network – ISMON: an Umbrella for Integrating Several Recent Soil Moisture Measurements Initiatives, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-273, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-273, 2022.