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3D Micro-ERT for agriculture

Agricultureelectric resistivity tomography (ERT)ESTECHirrigationmoisture contentroot systemsoil


This patent improves three-dimensional Micro Electric Resistivity Tomography (Micro- ERT 3D) to gain the precision required to study the moisture content of soil, especially for the purpose of monitoring the water absorption of root systems in agriculture.

Technical features

3D Micro-ERT analysis can describe in detail the moisture content of soil and can monitor the areas where absorption occurs in proximity to a plant’s root system. Non-invasive boreholes containing electrodes placed around single plants and connected to a multichannel apparatus can monitor the electrical variations in the area over time and space. The data can be then related to the moisture content around the root system, in order to comprehend the dynamics of water uptake, so that the irrigation schedule is adjusted consequently. The patent describes an optimized feature that, by improving the contact between the soil and the electrode, increases the precision and improves the resolution of the measurements, so that they are suitable for the study of plant physiology.

Possible Applications

  • Precision Micro Electric Resistivity Tomography for the study of root systems;
  • Improvement of irrigation through the study of root water absorption.


  • Increases  the resolution of three-dimensional electric resistivity tomography;
  • Accurate analysis of root water uptake.