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Water content

Water content or moisture content is the quantity of water contained in a material, such as soil (called soil moisture), rock, ceramics, or wood on a volumetric or gravimetric basis. The property is used in a wide range of scientific and technical areas, and is expressed as a ratio, which can range from 0 (completely dry) to the value of the materials' porosity at saturation.

Volumetric water content, θ, is defined mathematically as:

where Vw is the volume of water and VT = Vs + Vv = Vs + Vw + Va is the total volume (that is Soil Volume + Water Volume + Void Space). Water content may also be based on its mass or weight, thus the gravimetric water content is defined as:

where mw is the mass of water and mb (or ms for soil) is the bulk material mass. To convert gravimetric water content to volumetric water, multiply the gravimetric water content by the bulk specific gravity of the material.

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