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Measuring the Moisture Content of Green Wood Using Time Domain Reflectometry

Formally Refereed
Authors: Laurence Schimleck, Kim Love-Myers, Joe Sanders, Heath Raybon, Richard Daniels, Jerry Mahon, Edward Andrews, Erik Schilling
Year: 2011
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Southern Research Station
Source: Forest Products Journal 61(6):428–434


The responsible usage of water by facilities that rely on wet log storage in the southern United States has become an issue of great importance as restrictions on water usage have grown in recent years. In order to learn about the dynamics of moisture content in wet-stored logs over time, it is necessary to conduct continuous monitoring of log piles. Time domain reflectometry (TDR) is a method that current research has shown to have potential for use in this area. In this study, TDR probes of three lengths (75, 100, and 125 mm) were systematically inserted into 39 saturated bolts of Pinus taeda L., and both TDR and moisture content measurements were taken nine times over a period of 16 days as the bolts air dried. The samples were then oven dried, and measurements were taken three more times during that process. TDR readings from the 125-mm probes had the strongest relationship (R2 = 0.9426) with moisture content measurements. This result indicates TDR readings are sufficiently correlated with moisture content to accurately predict moisture variation over time and can be used to learn how water application and other factors affect the moisture content of wet-stored logs.


Schimleck, Laurence; Love-Myers, Kim; Sanders, Joe; Raybon, Heath; Daniels, Richard; Mahon, Jerry; Andrews, Edward; Schilling, Erik. 2011. Measuring the Moisture Content of Green Wood Using Time Domain Reflectometry. Forest Products Journal 61(6):428 434.