Measuring water and solute movement through the vadose zone can be very difficult to accurately measure without the right tools. When you are thinking about what type of lysimeter to select for your research or monitoring project you should consider what your measurement goals are, location, and budget. Different lysimeter types have advantages and disadvantages that need to be carefully considered.
Sampling soil pore water is allows you to look at levels of different nutrients and contaminants at certain points in the root zone or below the root zone. This can give you information on nutrient and contaminant movement in the soil profile.
An important part of the water balance is deep drainage. Lysimeters allow you to measure deep drainage which can give you valuable insight into groundwater recharge.
Through the combination of load cells and a enclosed soil column, weighing lysimeters are one of the most accurate ways to measure evapotranspiration.