9. Kenaston / Brightwater Creek Mesonet Site, SK

The Kenaston flux tower within the Brightwater Creek Research Area (photo: Craig Smith)
Location and Physical Characteristics
  • Observation sites located in central southern Saskatchewan within the moist mixed grassland ecoregion; 
    • Primarily cultivated with cereal crops, with areas of native grassland and pasture;
  • Area covers much of the headwaters of the Brightwater Creek (basin area roughly 900 km2), which drains to the South Saskatchewan River.


  • Established in 2007 as part of a National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative (NAESI) research project;
    • Station network set up and operated by Environment Canada and University of Guelph;
    • The site is part of the CanEx-SM10 esperiment run in collaboration with NASA;
  • Streamflow measurement on Brightwater Creek began through WSC in 1960.

Current Science Focus and Instrumentation

  • Hydrological model and remote sensing validation;
    • Precipitation network design for validation of parameters such as soil moisture and surface fluxes at different spatial resolutions;
    • MESH/CLASS land surface hydrology model and ESA Soil Moisture and ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite;
    • Measurement of surface energy/mass fluxes, and field survey campaigns for spatial variability of soil moisture and snow water equivalent (SWE);
  • One main flux tower for surface mass/energy balance measurements;
    • Profile observations of air temperature, humidity, wind speed, component radiation, and eddy covariance system; several alter shielded Geonor precipitation strain gauges;
    • Surface measurements of snow depth, soil moisture, precipitation;
  • Soil moisture and precipitation networks;
    • Coarse network – 14 stations over 40 × 50 km2 area; high density network – 24 stations over 10 × 10 km2 area;
  • Geological (deep well) weighing lysimeter for large scale soil moisture/evaporation measurement.

Other Resources and Further Information

For further information contact:

Warren Helgason, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Civil and Geological Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
1A13, 57 Campus Drive 
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9
(306) 966-5315


Aaron Berg, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing
Department of Geography
University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
(519) 824-4120 (ext. 58514)


Eddy covariance system in Canola field (photo: Craig Smith, 2010)