Soil Moisture 202: Choosing the Right Water Potential Sensor
Webinar - November 21, 2019

Soil Moisture 202:
Choosing the Right Water Potential Sensor

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 usable range.

Which sensor is right for you?

In this 20-minute webinar, METER research scientist Leo Rivera discusses how to choose the right field water potential sensor for your application. Learn:

  • Why you should measure water potential
  • Which part of the water potential range each sensor measures
  • The technology behind each method: tensiometers, granular matric sensors, heat dissipation sensors, thermocouple psychrometers, and capacitance sensors. 
  • The pros and cons of each method
  • Which sensors are best for certain applications


Next steps


Leo Rivera operates as a research scientist and Hydrology Product Manager at METER Group, the world leader in soil moisture measurement. He earned his undergraduate degree in Agriculture Systems Management at Texas A&M University, where he also got his Master’s degree in Soil Science. There he helped develop an infiltration system for measuring hydraulic conductivity used by the NRCS in Texas. Currently, Leo is the force behind application development in METER’s hydrology instrumentation including HYPROP and WP4C. He also works in R&D to explore new instrumentation for water and nutrient movement in soil.

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