Soil Water Sensor Performance and Corrections with Multiple Installation Orientations and Depths under Three Agricultural Irrigation Treatments. Academic Article uri icon


  • Performance evaluations and corrections of soil water sensors have not been studied using different installation orientations under various irrigation treatments in the Texas High Plains. This study evaluated the performance of four sensors using factory calibration and derived field corrections as compared to calibrated neutron moisture meters (NMMs). Sensor performance was assessed using horizontal insertion, laid horizontal placement, and vertical insertion at 15.2, 45.7, and 76.2 cm depths in a clay loam soil with three irrigation treatments. Results indicated the factory-calibrated Acclima 315 L performed satisfactorily using horizontal insertion as compared to NMM measurements at 45.7 and 76.2 cm depths with a 2% mean difference (MD) and <3.5% root mean square error (RMSE). The factory-calibrated Acclima 315 L using horizontal insertion also performed satisfactorily across all irrigation treatments according to soil profile water storage (MD = 0.36% and RMSE = 3.25%). Generally, the factory-calibrated Decagon GS1 and Campbell Scientific 655 using vertical insertion agreed more closely with NMM measurements compared with other installation orientations. There was a significant underestimation of water storage (>60 mm) in the 0.9 m soil profile using the Watermark 200SS. In summary, field corrections are required for Decagon GS1, Campbell Scientific 655, and Watermark 200SS sensors.

published proceedings

  • Sensors (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, Y., Marek, G. W., Marek, T. H., Heflin, K. R., Porter, D. O., Moorhead, J. E., & Brauer, D. K.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Yong||Marek, Gary W||Marek, Thomas H||Heflin, Kevin R||Porter, Dana O||Moorhead, Jerry E||Brauer, David K

publication date

  • January 2019