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Advancing Forest Soil Moisture Monitoring in the Daniel Boone National Forest: Exploring Complex Topography and Addressing Metadata Management

NIDIS Supported Research
NIDIS-Supported Research
Main Summary

This project is a pilot project under the U.S. Forest Service’s recently formed Soil Moisture Monitoring Network Initiative. It is intended to explore best practices for forest soil moisture monitoring and data collection, taking as a case study the complex terrain found in the Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) of eastern Kentucky.

The project includes installation of 1–2 soil moisture micronets within the forest, with monitoring sites selected to represent the diversity of terrain characteristic of the Cumberland Plateau. The micronets will each be anchored by the fully equipped Kentucky Mesonet station and will be designed and operated to facilitate research on soil moisture-terrain relationships. In addition, the project will include the design and development of a geospatial metadata collection and management system to serve as a repository for the more complex metadata requirements needed for forest soil moisture monitoring. This metadata management system is intended to serve as a prototype for other soil moisture monitoring networks.

For more information, please contact Marina Skumanich ( or Molly Woloszyn (

Research Snapshot

Research Timeline
Principal Investigator(s)
Megan Schargorodski, Western Kentucky University
Project Funding
Focus Areas (DEWS Components)
Related Topics
What to expect from this research
  • 1–2 micronets, anchored by the fully equipped Kentucky Mesonet station that will provide detailed soil moisture data across complex terrain
  • Prototype geospatial metadata management system, available for use by other mesonets
Key Regions
Research Scope
DEWS Region(s)