In-ground structures capture soil-solution details

Intact-core lysimeters are large metal cylindrical “cups” that contain an undisturbed area of the soil profile, installed below the plow layer to a depth of 30 inches. At the bottom of each of these “cups” is a drain that captures all the water that filters through that area of soil. That water is then carried by flexible tubing to a holding tank (a plastic carboy installed at a depth of about 8 feet), where the water sits until researchers pump it the surface (via more flexible tubes) to collect it for analysis.

Diagram of an intact-core lysimeter:


An intact core lysimeter in the field, dug out for repair. The rust-colored area to the right of the set up, from which the short tube extends, is the bottom edge of the lysimeter body: