University of California

Measurement of oxygen diffusion rates with the platinum micro-electrode: I. Theory and equipment


J. Letey
L. H. Stolzy

Authors Affiliations

J. Letey was Associate Professor of Soil Physics, Riverside; L. H. Stolzy was Associate Soil Physicist, Riverside.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 35(20):545-554. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n20p545. October 1964.

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In 1952, E. R. Lemon and A. E. Erickson introduced a method for measuring the rate of oxygen diffusion to a small platinum wire electrode inserted into the soil. This was considered analogous to measuring the oxygen movement to a plant root that would be in the same position as the wire electrode.

In spite of certain limitations, the platinum microelectrode technique appears still to be the best method available at present for providing a measurement of oxygen conditions in soil which can be interpreted with respect to biological behavior.

The first two papers of this series discuss theory, equipment, and the factors that can influence measurements. The third paper reviews the literature reporting research on correlation of oxygen diffusion rates to biological response.

Literature Cited

Kolthoff I. M., Lingane James J. Polarography. Vol. I. Theoretical principles. Instrumentation and technique. 1952. 2nd. ed. New York: Interscience Publishers. 24p.

Lemon E. R., Erickson A. E. The measurement of oxygen diffusion in the soil with a platinum microelectrode. Proc. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. 1952. 16:160-63. DOI: 10.2136/sssaj1952.03615995001600020013x [CrossRef]

Li Jerome C. R. Introduction to statistical inference. 1957. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Bros. Inc.

Poel L. W. The estimation of oxygen diffusion rates in soils. Jour. Ecol. 1960. 48:165-73. DOI: 10.2307/2257315 [CrossRef]

Sawyer Donald T., Interrante Leonard V. Electrochemistry of dissolved gases. II. Reduction of oxygen at platinum, palladium, nickel and other metal electrodes. Jour. Electroanal. Chem. 1961. 2:310-27.

Wiersum L. K. Some experiences in soil aeration measurements and relationships to depth of rooting. Netherlands Jour. Agr. Sci. 1960. 8(4):245-52.

Letey J, Stolzy L. 1964. Measurement of oxygen diffusion rates with the platinum micro-electrode: I. Theory and equipment. Hilgardia 35(20):545-554. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n20p545
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