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.
To learn more about measuring water potential, see the articles or videos below:
- Download the “Researcher’s complete guide to water potential”—>
- Webinar: Water potential 101—making use of an important tool
- Webinar: Water potential 201—choosing the right instrument
- Webinar: Water potential 301—how to push your instruments past their specifications
- Why soil moisture can’t tell you everything you need to know
- How to measure water potential
- Defining water potential
- Water potential in action