McMaster Water Resources and Hydrologic Modeling Lab

McMaster Soil Moisture & Weather Monitoring Network

Link to Orchard Governor Road site layout Kelso site Kelso Gov Road link Orchard link

McMaster Mesonet Overview

The McMaster Mesonet is an hourly high resolution soil moisture dataset located in the Hamilton-Halton Watershed in Southern Ontario, Canada. The McMaster Mesonet consists of a network of time domain relfectometry (TDR) probes collecting hourly volumetric soil moisture at six depths between 10 cm and 100 cm. Nine hydro-meteorological stations distributed throughout the watershed compliment the four soil moisture TDR arrays, with additional meteorological data available from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Environment Canada.

The state of soil moisture plays an important role in both climate and hydrological processes. Hydrologically, soil moisture partitions rainfall/snowmelt into infiltration and runoff. Ecologically, the amount of water available in the soil determines how much water is available for plants, which determines vegetation ecology and plant health. In terms of meteorology and climate, soil moisture partially controls evapotranspiration and stores solar energy, moderating surface and air temperatures. The McMaster Mesonet experiment was designed for application to high resolution remote sensing soil moisture validation, hydrological data assimilation and process understanding.

The Hamilton-Halton watershed is predominantly rural agricultural/forested land with concentrated urbanized areas in the south. The climate is humid continental with four distinct seasons. The average summer temperature is 21°C and the average winter temperature is -6°C with annual precipitation of 910 mm distributed evenly throughout the year.

Specific information on each of the four main field sites can be found by following the links below.

Field sites

McMaster Mesonet UPDATE!!!!

In the summer of 2013 the McMaster Mesonet recieved an update to its meteorological monitoring. The weather stations at Valens Reservoir and Governor Road have been updated with new Campbell Scientific weather stations. In addition, the stations at Governor Road and Kelso now include measurements of snow depth. These updates will increase the capacity of the McMaster Mesonet for hydrological applications and provide more information for modelling soil moisture.

New Weather Station at Governor Road


Request Data

Paulin Coulibaly, Professor,
Jointly in School of Geography & Earth Sciences, and Department of Civil Engineering