The dielectric permittivity of soil is a function of the water content, which facilitates water content measurements. The permittivity of soil is also a function of the frequency of the applied electric field. This frequency dependence can be described by the relationship between the dielectric relaxation frequency and the activation enthalpy of the water, which in turn is related to the soil matric pressure. The activation enthalpy or soil matric pressure is a measure of the binding forces acting on a water molecule in the soil matrix.
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