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Soil Characteristics: Monthly Summaries of Soil Temperature and Soil Moisture at Sites in Alaska

Explanation:

Coarse: silty, mixed, nonacidic, pergelic family. The soil has a silty-loam texture in its mineral horizons, mixed mineralogy, soil pH > 5.0. Mean annual soil temperature at 50 cm is -4°C to -10° C.

Histic: soils having > 15 cm but < 40 cm of organic horizon.

Aquorthels: soils are wet with permafrost within 1 m to the surface. Soils lack cryoturbation.


West Dock Kane and Hinzman's site (west of the West Dock access road)

Location: 70° 22' 21" N, 148° 33' 30" W
Elevation: 1 m
Landform: Coastal plain; sedge marsh (under 2.5 inches of water)
Microrelief: Plain
Slope: 0%
Drainage: Very poorly drained (ponded)
Parent material: Thaw lake deposit
Vegetation: Carex sp.
Soil Classification: Coarse-silty, mixed, nonacidic, pergelic Histic Aquorthels
Sampled by: C.L. Ping, R. Pringle, J. Arndt, R.J. Candler, and S. Goetz.

Soil profile description

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-20 Sedge root mat, undecomposed
A 20-41 Mucky silt loam
Cgf 41-55 Frozen sediment, silty loam, gleyed presumably season frost
Cf 55-80 Frozen sediment, upper permafrost, high ice content (> 60% by volume)

Remarks: This is not a Wet Soils Monitoring site, but it is the most northern site located on a coastal marsh. Larry released some soil temperature data.


Barrow Ecological Observatory (Paetzold's CALM site)

GPS location: 71° 19' 20" N, 156° 36' 29" W
Slope characteristics:
Slope: 1%
Aspect: N
Slope shape: slightly convex
Total slope length: 0.5 km
Elevation: 2 m asl
Physiography: Arctic Coastal Plain
Geomorphic position: Raised beach
Microtopography: slightly undulating with relief of 15 cm
Flooding information: Frequency rare
Ponding information: Frequency rare
Classification: Coarse-loamy over lomy-skeletal, mixed, nonacid, gelic Typic Aquiturbels
Moisture regime: Aquic
Landuse: Wildlife habitat and oil exploration
Stoness: none
Permeability: moderately slow
Natural drainage class: poor
Parent material: beach deposits
Vegetation: wet nonacidic tundra, Salix spp., Carex spp., and mosses
MAAT:- ° C
MAP: 200 mm, est.
MAST: -7° C, est.
Active layer depth: 80 cm
Sampled by C.L. Ping, G.J. Michaelson
Sampling date: August 10, 1998

Soil profile description

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-1 peat; many fine and few medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary.
Bw 1-20 Brown (7.5YRYR4/4) silt loam; moderate medium granular and weak medium lenticular fabrics; slightly sticky and slightly plastic; many very fine and fine roots; clear smooth boundary.
Bg 20-31 Brown (7.5YRYR4/4) and dark gray (2.5Y4/1) gravelly silt loam; saturated; slightly sticky and slightly plastic; few very fine and fine roots; abrupt wavy boundary.
Ab/Oab 31-52 Very dark gray (10YR3/1) and black (10YR2/1) mucky silt loam; slightly sticky and slightly plastic; abrupty smooth boundary
Cf 52-85 Dark gray (5Y4/1) and olive gray (5Y4/2) very gravelly silt loam; strong medium lenticular fabrics; frozen, hard, sticky and slightly plastic; 40% pebbles and 60% ice.


MP 411, Dalton Highway, Alaska (next to Vladimir Romanovsky's CALM site)

GPS location: 70° 09' 48" N, 148° 27' 32.4" W
Slope characteristics:
Slope: 1%
Aspect: N
Horizontal shape: plane
Vertical shape: plane
Total slope length: > 1 km
Slope length above site: > 1 km
Elevation: 5 m asl
Physiography: Arctic Coastal Plain
Geomorphic position: alluvial plain
Microtopography: low hummocks with relief of 15 cm, both old and new frost boils, common and old frost boils vegetated, marl formed in depressions and coated on vegetation.
Pit face aspect: E
Flooding information: Frequency is moderate
Ponding information: Frequency is frequent
Classification: Silty, mixed, nonacid, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbels
Moisture regime: Aquic
Landuse: Wildlife habitat and oil exploration
Stoness: none
Permeability: moderate
Natural drainage class: frequently ponded
Parent material: alluvium
Vegetation: wet nonacidic tundra with some small tussocks; Eriophrum vaginatum, Salix spp., Carex spp., Cladonia spp. and mosses
MAAT: - ° C
MAP: 200 mm
MAST: -7° C
Active layer depth: 80 cm
Sampled by C.L. Ping, G.J. Michaelson
Sampling date: September 15, 1999

Soil profile description

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-8 Peat; many fine and few medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary
Oe 8-20 Dark brown (10YR3/1) peat muck; saturated; many very fine and fine roots; clear, abrupt wavy boundary
Bgl 20-35 Light gray (5Y 4/1) silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; many very fine roots; abrupt irregular boundary
Oejj 35-43 Dark brown (10YR3/2) mucky silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and nonplastic; abrupt irregular boundary
Bg2 43-80 Dark grayish brown (10YR3.5/1.5) silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; common fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary
Cf 80-100 Light gray (5Y4/1) silt loam; frozen, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; occasional pebbles; ice-rich (ataxitic fabric), estimated ice content >55% by volume

Another pit was sampled nearby by Warren Lynn, X.Y. Dai, G.J. Michaelson, and C.L. Ping in 06 July 1998. S98AK-185-001 and 001a are in mudboil.

Lat. 70° 09' 48" N; Long. 148° 27' 32" W

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oe 0-18 (13-20)
Bg 18-46
Oejj 30-46
Bg2 36-54
Cf 54-61 Ice net formation with thin ice lense;
Wfm/Cf 61-81 Ataxitic layer (intermediate layer) medium ice lense;
2Cf/Oii 81-100 Matrix contains thin ice lense with cryoturbated organic matter.

Remarks: Bg, Bg2, Cf, and 2Cf/Ojj had a positive reaction to a,a-dipyriydyl.


Toolik Lake (S98AK-185-002), moist acidic tundra

Location: 68° 37' 22.2" N, 149° 36' 35.4" W
Elevation:
Slope characteristics:
Slope: 3%
Aspect: E
Horizontal shape: plane
Vertical shape: convex
Total slope length: 0.5 km
Slope length above site: 0.2 km
Landform: Foothills, convex
Microrelief: hummocky
Drainage: poorly-drained
Parent material: glacial till
Vegetation: Eriophrum vaginatum, Betula nana, Vaccinium uligolisum, Ledum decumbens, vaccinium vitis ideals, Empetrum nigrum, and Rubus chammoris, Hylocomium splendis, Sphagnium spp, and lichens.
Classification: Coarse-loamy, mixed, acidic, gelic Typic Aquiturbels
Sampled and described by: CL. Ping, Xiaoyan Dai, Warren Lynn and G.J. Michaelson

Soil profile description, west side of pit (ortho face)

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-8 Brown (7.5YR4/2) peat; many medium and common fine roots; abrupt wavy boundary.
Oe 8-13 Dark brown (7/5YR3/2) mucky peat; many very fine, fine and common medium roots; abrupt wavy boundary.
Bw 13-19 70% brown (7.5Y4/4), 20% grayish brown (10YR5/2) and 10% dark reddish brown (5YR3/4) silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; common very fine and fine roots; clear irregular boundary.
Bg 19-32 Gray (10YR5/1) silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; few fine roots; abrupt irregular boundary.
Oejj 32-41 Very dark grayish brown (10YR3/2) muck with 10% grayish brown (10YR5/2) peat muck; cryoturbated; saturated; abrupt irregular boundary.
Cf 41-54 Grayish brown (2.5Y5/2) silt loam; frozen, moderate medium angular blocky structures caused by ice net formation; firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; ice rich upper permafrost, 65% ice. Clear smooth boundary.
Oe/Cf 54-80 40% black to very dark brown (10YR 2/1, 7.5YR2.5/1, 2.5/2) muck sand loam and 60% dark grayish brown (2.5Y4/2) silt loam; frozen, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; 40% ice in very fine lenses; 10% rock fragments including 2 cobble stones.

Soil profile description, east side of pit

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oe 0-3 Dark brown (7.5YR3/2) muck peat; abrupt wavy boundary.
Bwl 3-11 Matrix strong brown (7.5YR5/6) silt loam with 5% grayish brown (2.5Y5/1); moderate medium granular; friable, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; common very fine and fine roots; clear irregular boundary.
Bg 11-31 Gray (2.5Y5/1) silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; common very fine and fine roots; clear irregular boundary.
Bw2 11-37 Strong brown (7.5YR5/6) silt loam with 10% gray (10YR5/1) silt loam; weak medium granular and pocket of fine platy structures; friable, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; hallow of Fe depletion around root channels; estimated 20% clay; common very fine and fine roots; clear irregular boundary.
OAjj 37-50 Dark grayish brown (7.5YR2.5/2) mucky silt loam; cryoturbated; frozen, fine ice lenses, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; abrupt smooth boundary.
Cgf 50-65 Gray (2.5Y5/1) silt loam; frozen, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; moderate fine ice lenses; abrupt smooth boundary.
Wfm/Cf 65-80 Gray (2.5Y5/1) silt loam; frozen, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; ataxitic layer, ice rich (>60%).

Soil profile description, north face of pit

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oe 0-5 Dark brown (7.5YR3/2) muck peat; abrupt irregular boundary.
Bw 5-25 Matrix strong brown (7.5YR5/6) silt loam with 5% grayish brown (2.5Y5/1); saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; common very fine and fine roots; clear irregular boundary.
Bgl 5-15 Matrix gray (2.5Y 5/1) silt loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; root pores lining of Fe concentration (7.5YR4/4); common fine and medium roots; clear irregular boundary.
Bg2 15-35 Gray (2.5Y5/1) silt loam; massive, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; Few pore lining of 10YR5/6; few fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary.
Ab/Oejj 35-42 Dark-grayish brown (7.5YR2.5/2) mucky silt loam; cryoturbated; frozen, fine ice lenses, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; abrupt wavy boundary.
Cgf 42-65 Gray (2.5Y5/1) silt loam; frozen, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; moderate fine ice lenses.


Galbraith Lake Site (Vladimir Romanovsky's CALM Site)

Location: 68° 28' 37.3" N, 149° 30' 12" W. Located north of airstrip.
Slope characteristics:
Slope: 1%
Aspect: E
Horizontal shape: plane
Vertical shape: plane
Total slope length: > 1 km
Slope length above site: 0.6 km
Elevation: m asl
Physiography: Arctic Foothills
Geomorphic position: alluvial fan
Microtopography: low hummocks with relief of 20-25 cm, , common frost boils
Pit face aspect: S
Flooding information: Frequency is occasional
Ponding information: Frequency is common
Classification: Silty, mixed, nonacid, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbels
Moisture regime: Aquic
Landuse: Wildlife habitat
Stoness: none
Permeability: moderate
Natural drainage class: frequently ponded
Parent material: alluvium
Vegetation: wet nonacidic tundra with some small tussocks; Eriophrum vaginatum, Salix spp., Carex spp., and mosses
MAAT: - ° C
MAP: 350 mm, est.
MAST: -5 ° C, est.
Active layer depth: 60 cm (from top of hummocks)
Sampled by C.L. Ping, G.J. Michaelson
Sampling date: September 17, 1999

Soil profile description

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-10 Dark brown (7.5YR3/1) peat; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; clear smooth boundary.
Oe 10-28 Dark brown (7.5YR2.5/2) muck peat; saturated; many very fine and fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary.
Bg 28-49 Gray (2.5Y4/1) silt loam; wet but not saturated; weak coarse angular blocky breaking into weak medium lenticular fabric; friable, slightly sticky and plastic; common very fine and fine roots; abrupt wavy boundary.
Oii/Bg 49-58 Black (10YR2/2) muck peat and gray (2.5Y4/1) silt loam; wet, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; abrupt irregular boundary.
Bgf/Ojjf 58-75 Gray (2.5Y4/1) silt loam and black (10YR2/2) muck peat; frozen, firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; ice rich, estimated 60% ice by volume.


Chandler Shelf Site (Vladimir Romanovsky's CALM Site)

Location: 68° 04' 20" N, 149° 34' 11" W
Slope characteristics:
Slope: 0%
Aspect:
Horizontal shape: plane
Vertical shape: plane
Total slope length: km
Slope length above site: km
Elevation: m asl
Physiography: Brooks Range
Geomorphic position: terrace
Microtopography: Earth hummocks with relief of 20-30 cm and 40-70 cm across, common frost boils
Pit face aspect: E
Flooding information: Frequency is rare
Ponding information:
Classification: Fine-silty, mixed, acidic, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbels
Moisture regime: Aquic
Landuse: Wildlife habitat
Stoness: none
Permeability: moderately slow in active layer
Natural drainage class: somewhat poorly (hummocks) and poorly (inter-hummocks)
Parent material: lacustrine
Vegetation: moist acidic tundra with some small tussocks; Butula nana, Ledium decumbens, Eriophrum vaginatum, Salix spp., Carex biglowii, Vaccinium uligolisum, coldsfoot, mosses and Cladonia. spp.
MAAT: - ° C
MAP: 400 mm, est.
MAST: -5 ° C, est.
Active layer depth: 32 cm (from inter- hummocks)
Sampled by C.L. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, W. Lynn, X.Y. Dai
Sampling date: September 17, 1998

Soil profile description

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-7 Dark brown (10YR3/3) peat; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; clear smooth boundary.
Oe 7-12 Black (10YR2/1) and brown (7.5YR4/2) muck peat; saturated; many very fine, fine and common medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary
Bw 12-31 Under hummocks; brown (10YR4/3) silt loam; moderate fine and strong medium granular structures; slightly firm, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; many very fine, fine and common medium roots; abrupt irregular boundary
Bgl 15-20 Grayish brown (2.5Y5/1) silt loam matrix; Fe concentration (7.5YR4/4, 4/6, and 3/3 as pore linings around root channels massive, slightly sticky and slightly plastic; exists as islands in Bw; abrupt irregular boundary
Bg2 31-40 Gray (2.5Y4/1) silt loam; wet but not saturated; weak coarse angular blocky breaking into weak medium lenticular fabric; friable, slightly sticky and plastic; common very fine and fine roots; abrupt irregular boundary.
Bg/Oejjf 40-55 Bgf gray (2.5Y4/1) silty clay loam and Oejf black (10YR2/1) and dark brown (7.5YR3/2) muck peat; frozen, thin ice lenses, firm, sticky and plastic; ice rich, estimated 50% ice by volume; clear smooth boundary
Wfm/Bgf 56-70 Gray (2.5Y4/1) silty clay loam; ataxitic layer, 65-70% ice; sticky and plastic; estimated 25% clay; clear smooth boundary.
Cf 70-90 Gray (2.5Y4/1) silty clay loam; massive, thin ice lenses, 50% ice content; sticky and plastic.

Soils interhummocks (trough)

Oi: 0-10 cm
Oe: 10-18 cm
Bg: 18-24 cm
Bgf/Oejjf: 24-40 cm
Cf: > 40 cm

Remarks: Site Examined in 20 August 1997. Depth to frost table: 42 cm below the top of earth hummock, 8 cm below interhummocks, and 43 cm below the center of mudboils. Campbell datalogger and borehole. Diagrams show positions of soil temperature and Vitel sensors.

Coldfoot East, Alaska (Vladimir Romanovsky' site)

GPS location: 67° 14' 15" N, 150° 09' 42" W
Slope characteristics:
Slope: 3%
Aspect: NW
Horizontal shape: plane
Vertical shape: slightly convex
Total slope length: > 1 km
Slope length above site: > 1 km
Elevation: m asl
Physiography:
Geomorphic position: terrace
Microtopography: tussocks with relief of 20-30 cm
Pit face aspect: E
Flooding information: Frequency is zero
Ponding information: Frequency is zero
Classification: Silty, mixed, acidic, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbels
Moisture regime: Aquic
Landuse: Wildlife habitat
Stoness: none
Permeability: moderate in active layer
Natural drainage class: poor
Parent material: alluvium
Vegetation: moist acidic tussock tundra; Eriophrum vaginatum, Vaccinium uligosium, Vaccinium vitas ideae, Ledium decumbens, Betula nana, Rubus chamomoris, Hylocomiun splendis, Cladonia spp. and scattered Picea mariana.
MAAT: - ° C
MAP: 400 mm est.
MAST: -5 ° C est.
Active layer depth: 45 cm intertussocks with 15 cm organic horizon and 58 cm from top of tussocks with 35 cm of organic horizon observed 8/21/97
Sampled by C.L. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, W. Lynn, X.Y. Dai
Sampling date: September 17, 1998

Soil profile description

Horizon Depth (cm) Description
Oi 0-13 Dark brown (7.5YR3/1) peat; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; clear wavy boundary.
Oe 13-29 Dark-reddish brown (5YR2.5/2) peaty muck; 60% fiber unrubbed and 30% fiber rubbed; many very fine, fine and medium roots; at the bottom of horizon, thin (0.5 cm) band of charcoal (10YR2/1); abrupt smooth boundary.
Oa 29-50 Dark brown (7.5YR 2.5/2) muck; 10% unrubbed fiber and 2% rubbed fiber; many very fine and fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary.
Bg 50-62 Light gray (5Y5/1) silt loam; saturated; massive; slightly sticky and slightly plastic; few very fine and fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary.
Bgf 62-78 Light gray (5Y5/1) silt loam; frozen, very firm; light gray (5Y5/1) silt loam; estimated 45% ice content, ice lense 3-10 mm thick.

Remarks: The intertussocks areas occupy about 50% of the total surface area with organic horizon 29-30 thick. An estimated 60% of the pedons have organic horizons less than 40 cm. Campbell datalogger and borehole site.