Kenaston / Brightwater Creek Mesonet Site, SK

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 km2area;
  • Geological (deep well) weighing lysimeter for large scale soil moisture/evaporation measurement.