A comparison of water potential instrument ranges

A comparison of water potential instrument ranges


Water potential is the most fundamental and essential measurement in soil physics because it describes the force that drives water movement. Making good water potential measurements is largely a function of choosing the right instrument and using it skillfully.  In an ideal world, there would be one instrument that simply and accurately measured water potential over its entire range from wet to dry.  In the real world, there is an assortment of instruments, each with its unique personality.  Each has its quirks, advantages, and disadvantages.  Each has a well-defined range.

Below is a comparison of water potential instruments and the ranges they measure.

Diagram showing water potential instrument ranges
Figure 1. A range comparison of water potential instruments such as the HYPROP, WP4C, VSA, MPS-6, tensiometer, and TEROS 21 matric potential sensor, and the tensiometer

Choose the right instrument

In the webinar below, learn water potential instrument theory, including the challenges of measuring water potential and how to choose and use various water potential instruments.

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Want to know more about measuring water potential in your unique application? METER scientists have over 100 years combined experience measuring soil hydraulic and physical properties.

Download the “Researcher’s complete guide to water potential”—>

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Automated everything

After setup, the HYPROP generates a moisture release curve in only three to five days. To save you even more time, it can operate while being left unattended.

It’s not immortal, but almost

Specifically designed for field-use, the TEROS 32 tensiometer ceramic and shaft are engineered to be virtually indestructible when it comes to harsh weather.