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How Moisture Affects Detection Depth

The amount of moisture in the ground has a decided effect on the performance of any detector, including the new Shadow models. Depth is usually enhanced when the ground is wet, whether it be just enough moisture to dampen the soil or enough to thoroughly saturate it, but the level of mineralization will have an effect on what level of saturation will provide the most depth. The moisture content will also change the masking effect where ferrous objects are plentiful. As a ferrous object oxidizes, the rust particles leech out into the soil and create a halo around the object. Moisture enhances the halo and increases the masking effect while extremely dry soil effectively limits the halo and decreases masking. If you hunt a site that is loaded with ferrous objects, especially small objects like nails, try it when the ground is bone dry and you might just be surprised at what turns up. On the other end, if you think there are good targets just a little deeper than your detector can reach, try hunting it when the ground is soaked and again as the moisture is drying out. Several trips might be necessary as the ground dries but you should find the optimum level of moisture that will allow maximum depth. I'm sure some of you have observed and taken advantage of the soil conditions I listed, but for those who haven't, rehunt a site at varying moisture content levels and you could very well be surprised at what you missed the other times you hunted there.

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