Analysis of the NASA AirMOSS Root Zone Soil Water and Soil Temperature from Three North American Ecosystems

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Yutaka Hagimoto, Oregon State University, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Eugene, OR, United States
Root zone soil water and temperature are controlling factors for soil organic matter accumulation and decomposition which contribute significantly to the CO2 flux of different ecosystems. An in-situ soil observation protocol developed at Oregon State University has been deployed to observe soil water and temperature dynamics in seven ecological research sites in North America as part of the NASA AirMOSS project. Three instrumented profiles defining a transect of less than 200 m are installed at each site. All three profiles collect data for in-situ water and temperature dynamics employing seven soil water and temperature sensors installed at seven depth levels and one infrared surface temperature sensor monitoring the top of the profile. In addition, two soil heat flux plates and associated thermocouples are installed at one of three profiles at each site. At each profile, a small 80 cm deep access hole is typically made, and all below ground sensors are installed into undisturbed soil on the side of the hole. The hole is carefully refilled and compacted so that root zone soil water and temperature dynamics can be observed with minimum site disturbance. This study focuses on the data collected from three sites: a) Tonzi Ranch, CA; b) Metolius, OR and c) BERMS Old Jack Pine Site, Saskatchewan, Canada. The study describes the significantly different seasonal root zone water and temperature dynamics under the various physical and biological conditions at each site. In addition, this study compares the soil heat flux values estimated by the standard installation using the heat flux plates and thermocouples installed near the surface with those estimated by resolving the soil heat storage based on the soil water and temperature data collected over the total soil profile.