Part 2: How to Interpret Soil Moisture Data

To get the most out of your data, you need to know how to interpret unexpected occurrences in your data set. You’ve spent time deploying soil moisture sensors knowing the data can be used to identify, diagnose, verify, and quantify what you care about most. How can you ensure you’re reaching thorough and accurate conclusions, and how do you explain anomalies?

The root cause of unexpected data patterns

In the early years of soil moisture measurement, anomalies in soil moisture data may have been easier to attribute to faulty sensors. Now that sensor rate of failure is ~0.5%, how do you explain deviations from expected data patterns? In this 30-minute webinar, followed by a ~15-minute Q&A, research scientist Dr. Colin Campbell will discuss unexpected data patterns and how to determine potential root causes.

Understand what’s happening at your site

Join Dr. Campbell as he walks you through data set examples, including:

  • How temperature impacts readings
  • Diurnal patterns of soil moisture distribution
  • Infiltration and drying events, when to expect them, and how to understand what changes might not be attributed to those events
  • Soil moisture behavior under saturation conditions or permanent wilting point
  • How soil moisture varies with depth


Dr. Colin Campbell has been a research scientist at METER for 20 years following his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in Soil Physics.  He is currently serving as Vice President of METER Environment. He is also adjunct faculty with the Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University where he co-teaches Environmental Biophysics, a class he took over from his father, Gaylon, nearly 20 years ago.  Dr. Campbell’s early research focused on field-scale measurements of CO2 and water vapor flux but has shifted toward moisture and heat flow instrumentation for the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum.

Next steps


Our scientists have decades of experience helping researchers and growers measure the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. 

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