The rapid, accurate measurement of the oxygen content of soil gas in the unsaturated zone or dissolved oxygen in soil water in the saturated zone can be useful in wetland vegetation studies. A method has been devised and tested in the Great Dismal Swamp, a wetland with fine silt-clay and organic soils, that appears to provide good results. A 60-milliliter sample of soil gas or water is withdrawn from permanently installed chambers at various depths in the soil profile. The oxygen concentration of air samples is measured with a specially constructed analyzer cell fitted to the polarographic oxygen electrode of a portable oxygen meter. The dissolved oxygen concentration of water samples is measured directly with the oxygen electrode while stirring the sample in a 32-milliliter glass bottle with a portable magnetic stirrer. Field tests with duplicate chamber installations showed that consistent results are obtained for soil gas and water.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Selected papers in the hydrologic sciences 1984; July 1984