Cosmic-Ray neutron Sensor PYthon tool (crspy): An open-source tool for the processing of cosmic-ray neutron and soil moisture data

Daniel Power, Miguel Angel Rico-Ramirez, Sharon Desilets, Darin Desilets, Rafael Rosolem

Research output: Other contribution


Understanding soil moisture dynamics at the sub-kilometre scale is increasingly important especially with continuous development of hyper-resolution land-surface and hydrological models. Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensors (CRNS) are able to provide estimates of soil moisture at this elusive scale and networks of these sensors have been expanding across the world over the previous decade. However, each network currently implements its own protocol when processing raw data into soil moisture estimates. As a consequence, this lack of a harmonized global dataset can ultimately lead to limitations in the global assessment of the CRNS technology from multiple networks. Here we present crspy, an open-source python tool that is designed to facilitate the processing of raw CRNS data into soil moisture estimates in an easy and harmonized way. We outline the basic structure of this tool discussing the correction methods used as well as discussing the metadata that crspy can create about each site. Metadata can add value to global scale studies of field scale soil moisture estimates by providing additional routes to understanding catchment similarities and differences. We demonstrate that current differences in processing methodologies can lead to misinterpretations when comparing sites from different networks and having a tool to provide a harmonized dataset can help to mitigate these issues. By being open source, crspy can also serve as a development and testing tool for new understanding of the CRNS technology as well as being used as a teaching tool for the community.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCopernicus GmbH
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021

Structured keywords

  • Water and Environmental Engineering


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