Aim of the project MoreSpin (Mobile Magnetic Resonance Sensor with supraconducting coil for prepolarization in the near surface soil) is to develop a mobile NMR instrument for detecting and mapping near-surface (2m) soil physical parameters. Supraconducting prepolarization coils and adiabadic excitation pulses will significantly improve signal quality.

Project objectives

Moisture stored in near surface soils is key for a manifold of ecological processes. The soil, being the interface between the atmosphere and the lithosphere, plays a crucial role for the transport of water and the dissolved substances therein. At present, there are no suitable direct methods to determine soil moisture content at the required spatial and temporal length and time scales. Not only are direct methods on the km scale disproportionately involved, furthermore, the only available geophysical methods on this length scale are indirect methods and therefore highly ambiguous. One nondestructive geophysical surface method that is well established is surface nuclear magnetic resonance or magnetic resonance sounding (MRS). However, standard MRS is not suitable to map (km scale) the near surface soil physical properties due to its lack of sensitivity in the first 2 m and the usually high expenditure of time needed for conducting measurements.
At this point, the developments of the MoreSpin project come into play. By using a superconducting coil for prepolarization (Px) together with adiabatic excitation pulses the near surface sensitivity is greatly increased. Furthermore, we aim to develop measurement strategies based on compact B-field receivers that a allow a detailed spatial resolution of the soil parameters in question.

MoreSpin Phase I is already completed. Results can be found here.

MoreSpin Phase II is on-going. Current results can be found here.


Project management

Prof. Dr. Mike Müller-Petke

Project scientist

Phase I Dr. Thomas Hiller
Phase II Dr. Tobias Splith


Phase I

Grant no. MU 3318/4-1



Phase I

Grant no. MU 3318/8-1