Following long term experiments it may be of interest in individual cases to consolidate the data obtained by examining the lysimeter soil. Year-long influences of microbial processes, the penetration of roots and substance transportation play a decisive role in the structure of the soil. Furthermore, soil changes in the lysimeter compared to the reference soil at the extraction site can be recorded.
A condition for these experiments is the extraction of the soil monoliths from the lysimeter vessel which is as gentle as possible. UGT has developed a special patented cable cutter, the “lysimeter soil retriever” (LSR) for this difficult task. A diamond cable cuts along the inside wall of the lysimeter vessel, thereby loosening the entire soil column from the lysimeter vessel. Only a maximum of 1 cm at the edge of the soil monolith is discarded as a result of precutting. A hydraulic pushing device beneath the soil plate then makes it possible to push up the released soil monolith virtually without any deformation. A second cutting device is attached to the top side of the lysimeter vessel to cut soil slices of the required thickness, e.g. at the horizon borders from the soil column. In this form the lysimeter content is still essentially undisturbed but easy to access and can be transported even to a laboratory for further investigation. As a result of this form of retrieval, the upper layers do not need to be destroyed to examine the lower layers. After retrieval, the lysimeter vessel can be refilled and used for further lysimeter experiments.
Advantages of the retrieval technology:
- Facilitates detailed examination of the soil inside the monoliths
- The soil column is impaired during retrieval only minimally around the edges
- Cutting of the monolith in slices facilitates transportation and storage in an essentially undisturbed condition
- The lysimeter vessel is available for further lysimeter experiments
- Soil monoliths of different thickness depending on task and findings