NSF-ARCSS-LAII-ATLAS PROJECT ANNUAL DATA DEPOSITORY

Project Name: Winter Flux in Arctic Ecosystem under changing climate: Effectof Soil Carbon and Arctic Layer Dynamics. OPP-9732731

PI: Chien-Lu Ping

Co-PI: Vladimir Romanovsky

 

PART ONE: Progress Report

A. Carbon Stores and Soil Characterization of Winter Flux Study Sites

In the summer of 1999 a total of 180 Soil profile samples were collected from 13 study sites, including 2 in Toolik Snowfence/ITEX  sites, 4 in Ivotuk, 2 in Omalik, and 5 in Council.  Soil morphological properties were studied in the field and recorded in pedon (soil profile) descriptions.  All samples were analyzed at the Palmer Research Center, for pH, water content, bulk density, coarse fragments, organic matter, carbon, nitrogen, texture, and carbon storage in the soil profiles.  All data were transferred to the NISDC data bank.  Work on a complete physical and chemical characterization for all samples is currently underway in USDA Soil Survey Center Laboratory.  Soil classifications and selected soil chemical and physical data for each site is shown in Table 1.

The Snow Fence site on acidic tundra at Toolik Lake is a typical moist acidic tundra.  Soils are formed in medium-textured glacial till. The active layer measured 45 cm and remains saturated and reduced throughout most of the growing season. The Snow fence site in the dry heath was well drained and has a calcareous reaction (high pH) and high base saturation due to the presence of younger calcareous glacial outwash.  Soils from both Omalik sites are strongly cryoturbated but one has acidic tundra and the other one has nonacidic tundra cover. The acidic tundra soils have thicker organic horizons, ranging from 15-30 cm and the nonacidic tundra soils have thinner organic horizons, normally less than 10 cm thick.  However, both soils have nonacidic reactions with the acidic tundra soils having base saturations over 60 % and the nonacidic tundra base saturation over 90%. This indicates that the vegetation is very sensitive to the base status.

Soils of the Ivotuk study sites are also strongly cryoturbated as indicated  by the presence of warped horizons, and organic matter that has been frost-churned into lower mineral horizons.  Three sites (# 1, 2 and 4) are characteristically moist acidic tundra and the soils have strongly acidic reaction. The base saturation ranges from 19-39% with the Shrub site (#2) having the lowest pH.  Site 3 is a nonacidic tundra with very strongly developed sorted circles (frost boils). Rock fragments are abundant in soils profiles and on the surface due to frost heaving.  The soils have a neutral reaction and high base saturation: >95%.

Soils in the Council upland study sites are not affected by permafrost but their cryogenic fabric suggests strong seasonal frost.  Soils of the Shrub, Open-woodland, and the Forest sites have base saturations over 60% due to the shaley parent bedrock. Thus these soils are base rich and have slightly acidic and nearly neutral reactions. Soils of the Open shrub site are formed in colluvium resulting from active solifluction.  The soils are very to strongly acidic with very low base saturation (<10%). The parent materials have mixed lithology. 

Carbon stocks in the tundra sites of Toolik Lake, Ivotuk, and Omalik, ranged from 58-100 kgC m-2, which is in the range found for Flux study sites in the Arctic Foothills.  The lower values are from soils with ground ice within 1m.  Results were also similar to those of the Flux study in that the soils of the acidic tundra generally had higher C stocks than those of the nonacidic tundra.  C stocks in the Council area are lower, ranging from 15-38 kgC m-2, due to the presence of bedrock within 1 m.  In these soils there is no or very little organic matter frost churned into the lower horizon and there is evidence in the profile of forest or tundra fire which could serve to further decrease the C stocks.  In the tundra site although it is under permafrost but the C stocks are only 44  kgC m-2  due to the presence of ground ice.

B. Laboratory: CO2 Flux at Low Temperatures

 

During the 1999 field season 12 of the Winter-Flux Study sites were sampled for laboratory respiration studies: 4 sites at Ivotuk, 2 sites at Omaluk, 5 sites at Council, and two sites at Toolik Lake.   Major soil genetic horizons at each site were sampled to a depth of one meter.  A total of 65 samples were collected and preserved for laboratory investigations.  Samples were on average a 5 kg quantity and were stored at field moisture and homogenized samples were stored frozen upon return to the laboratory.  This bank of frozen samples will provide the basis for future laboratory investigations, some of which are currently underway with additional study sites to be sampled in the 2000 field season.

The 65 soils in the reference bank have been analyzed for total C, N, and moisture content.  Laboratory investigations will address the effects of temperature, moisture, and organic matter substrates on cold-season respiration of carbon dioxide and methane from these study site soils.  Studies are designed to produce results useful in the modeling and prediction of climate change effects on tundra C-flux and soil C stocks. 

In 1999 as samples were collected, laboratory equipment preparation, setup and testing were performed to prepare for laboratory for soils investigations.  A respirometer (Micro-Oxymax from Columbus Instruments) was obtained, tested and made operational to measure soil respiration at low temperatures.  Three incubators capable of holding 200 vessels, were built and tested at a range of temperatures from + 5C to –15C.   These incubators consist of modified chest freezers fitted with propylene glycol baths and precision heater-circulators to maintain temperatures to within a half degree C in the range of + 5C to –15C. 

 

Preliminary Results: 

Soil Respiration with Temperature, Soil and Soil C.   Preliminary tests were conducted to investigate the response of soil carbon dioxide respiration with temperature fluctuation in the range of +5C to –11C.  A group of soils were selected that covered a range of carbon contents and represent some major soil genetic horizon types from the 1999 bank of 65 frozen Winter-Flux study site soil samples.  Some of the results are illustrated by Figure 1.  Respiration of CO2 was detected across the entire range of temperature (+4C to –11C).  The largest reductions in respiration were observed as the temperature was reduced from +4C to –3C with respiration reduced more slowly in the range of –3C to –11C.  Respiration on a per gC basis are in the upper half of Figure 1.  Results indicate that as the temperatures ranges from –3C to +4C, the C of the surface organic (Oi) horizons can be from 2 times to 4 times more reactive in production of CO2 than either the lower more decomposed organic horizons or the mineral (B and C type) horizons.  Surface organic soils with high C content contain the most active C in this higher range of temperatures. This is the range of temperatures that all soil horizons of the active layer may experience for an extended period of time from August to as late as December.  This is also the cold-season period where higher amounts of C-flux have been measured.  It is also evident that for the organic soils, respiratory activity of C was proportional to %C in the soil (top right Figure 1).   This was not the case for mineral soils.  The mineral soils contain lower concentrations of C and respiratory activity of soil C was inversely related to soil %C (top left Figure 1).  Mineral horizons with the lower C respired more CO2 per gC in the soil.  This could reflect the higher proportion of more soluble and active soil organic C in the lower horizons as a result of processes of leaching downward from surface organic horizons. 

Respiration data on the basis of a field soil volume, are shown in the lower part of Figure1.  On a soil volume basis the respiration of CO2 for both organic and mineral soils is in general directly proportional to soil C content with higher %C soils respiring more CO2 across the temperature range.  The exception to this is the mixed mineral organic horizon soils (Bg/Oa and Bg/Oaf).  The activity of the Bg/Oa mineral soil with only 5%C is depressed relative to the Bg/BCg soil with only 1%C due to the presence of more active C in the lower Bg/BCg horizon (lower left Figure 1).  The Bg/Oaf organic horizon on the other hand was lowest of the organic soils in soil C and activity per g soil C, but was intermediate in respiratory activity on a soil volume basis.  This relatively high respiration rate was due to the higher density of this soil resulting in higher C concentrations in a soil volume relative to other “lighter” organic soils. The combination B/O type horizons occur as a result of cryoturbation or frost churning.  These horizons are commonly found in tundra soils and contain rather large C-stocks.  Given the combination of their moderately high respiratory activity potential, and their high field C-stocks these horizons could contribute very significantly to cold-season CO2 production and be sensitive to environmental changes. 

Figure 2 illustrates a closer view of respiration at the lower temperatures.  Again the surface organic (Oi) horizon C is potentially most active on a per gC basis (left side of Figure 2) followed at a much lower level by the Oa and then the 2C horizon carbon.  Respiration on the basis of a field volume of soil (right side Figure 2) shows a somewhat different relationship for respiration.  Although the surface Oi horizon is still the highest it is followed quite closely by the Bg/Oaf horizon which contains high density of carbon and then the Oa which contains more highly active C.  The lower C-content mineral horizons (Bg/Oa, Bg/BCg and 2C) are quite low in respiratory activity at the lower temperatures. 

Figure 3 presents some comparative data for Winter Flux sites when soils were incubated at 4C for 7 days after thawing frozen samples.  Theses data reinforce those of Figures 1 and 2 in that the more active soils for each site and among sites are generally the surface or near-surface organic (O) horizons.  In addition the cryoturbated combination horizons are characteristically high as found for the temperature range studies.  In fact the 50-68 cm Bg/Oaf of the Ivotuk site 4 was second highest of all soils.  The frozen (top of permafrost) mineral Bgf of the Omalik was also quite active with a rate that was fourth highest overall samples. If these results hold over the range of temperatures for the cold-season, then this could be very significant for winter flux as conditions change and if lower horizons are warmed and permafrost recedes.

These preliminary data are only indications and current studies are underway to develop a broader understanding of soil and soil respiration throughout the active layer at lower temperatures.  These data results point to the importance of both surface and subsurface soil C-stocks to cold-season soil respiration that occurs at very low temperatures, but temperatures that occur for sustained periods in the arctic.  Work continues to expand this data and investigate the effects of unfrozen water and soil moisture and substrates at low temperatures. 

 

Publications Submitted or in Review:

1.     Dai X.Y., D. White, and C.L. Ping. Evaluation of soil organic matter composition and bioavailability by Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Submitted to Soil Science.

2.     Dai X.Y., C.L. Ping, R. Candler, L. Haumaier and W. Zech. Characterization of Soil Organic Matter Fractions of Tundra Soils in Arctic Alaska. Soil Science Society of America Journal. (in review).

3.     Dai, X.Y., C.L. Ping, and G.J. Michaelson.  Bioavailable and microbial biomass carbon of soil organic matter in arctic soils.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry. (in review).

 

Publications in Press or Published

1.   Ping, C.L. G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, and L. Everett.2000. Soil organic carbon stores in  Alaska.  In R.Lal, J.M. Kimble, C. Tarnocai, and H. Eswaran (eds.) Global Environmental Change and Soils of the Cold Ecoregions. CRC Lewis Publishers. (in press)

2.   Dai, X.D., C.L. Ping, and G.J. Michaelson.2000.  Bioavailability of soil organic matter in tundra soils. In R.Lal and J.M. Kimble (eds.) In R.Lal, J.M. Kimble, C. Tarnocai, and H.  Eswaran (eds.) Global Environmental Change and Soils of the Cold Ecoregions. CRC Press, Boca Raton. (in press)

3.   Ping, C.L., G.J. Michaelson, X.Y. Dai, and R.J. Candler. 2000. Characterization of Soil Organic Matter. In R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett and B. Stewart (eds.) Assessment Methods for Soil C Pools. CRC Press, Boca Raton. (in press)

4.     Michaelson, G.J., C.L. Ping and J.M. Kimble. 2000. Effects of soil morphological and physical properties on estimation of carbon storage in arctic soils. In R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett and B. Stewart (eds.) Assessment Methods for Soil C Pools. CRC Press. (in press)

5.     Walker, D.A., J.G. Bockheim, F.S. Chapin, F.E. Nelson, and C.L. Ping. 2000. Calcium-rich tundra, wildlife, and the Mammoth Steppe. Quat. Sci. Rev. (in press).

 


PART TWO: Analytical Data

 

 

In following pages

Table 1.  Selected Chemical and physical data for Winter Flux Site soils. (Omalik sites –Oma, Ivotuk sites – IVO, and Council sites:  CT – tundra, COS – open shrub, CS – shrub, COW – open woodland, CF – forest site)

 







Respiration

per g Soil C

 

 

Respiration

 per cm3 soil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Figure 1.  Preliminary results for temperature and respiration for selected mineral and organic horizons of Winter-Flux Study site soils. (Oi – Council Forest: 0-11 cm, Oa (36%C)– Council Open Woodland: 2-8 cm, Oa (28%C) – Council Forest: 11-31 cm, Bg/Oaf - Ivotuk #4, 50-68 cm, Bg/Oa – Ivotuk #1: 25-63 cm, Bg/BC – Council Open Shrub: 33-50 cm, 2C – Council Forest: 57-90 cm, and BC – Council Shrub: 30 –50 cm)


 


 


Figure 2.  Respiration in the low temperature range for soil horizons of the Winter-Flux study. (Oi – Council Forest: 0-11 cm, Oa – Council Open Woodland: 2-8 cm, Bg/Oaf - Ivotuk #4, 50-68 cm, Bg/Oa – Ivotuk #1: 25-63 cm, Bg/BC – Council Open Shrub: 33-50 cm, and 2C – Council Forest: 57-90 cm)

 

 

 

 

 


Figure 3.  Comparative respiration data for soils of Winter Flux study sites.

 



PART THREE: Soil Profile Description

 

SOIL MORPHOLOGICAL PROPERTIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS OF ATLAS STUDY SITES IN WESTERN ALASKA 1999

 

By Chien-Lu Ping

 

Soil horizon designation:

O – organic horizon. Oi – peat, least decomposed, containing >75% fibers after rubbing.

       Oe - mucky peat or peaty muck, intermediate stage of decomposition, containing 17-75%.

       fiber after rubbing. Oa - most humified organic matter, containing <16% fiber after rubbing.

A - mineral horizon with in-situ accumulation of organic matter due to root residue.

B - weather horizon. Bw - mostly brownish indicating Fe oxides and some with mottles. Bg -

      gleyed or reduced horizon with gray or bluish gray color.

C - parent material, least weathered, substrates.

BC - transitional horizon between B and C.

R - bedrock.

Wfm - Ice wedges or ground ice.

Other subscripts - b: buried horizon.  jj: cryoturbated horizon.  f: frozen due to permafrost.

 

The soil samples are currently analyzed for physical and chemical properties in Palmer Research Center and the results will be released by early next year.

 

June 1999

Field work was carried out as part of the UAF Summer Course NRM-495 Alaska Soil Geography Field Class sponsored by School of Agriculture & Land Resource Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The main objective of the course was to study the morphology and hydric soils properties of permafrost soils in arctic Alaska.

 

June 24, we tried to sample the moist acidic tundra ssoils near the snow fence plot of Josh Schimel but the season frost was only thawed 5 to 10 cm, thus I decided for later days.

Thus we only sampled the dry heath plot.

Location: Lat. 68° 37” 17” N.; Long. 149°35” 56” W.

Elevation: 1 m.

Landform: Terrace

Microrelief: undulating

Slope: 1-3%

Draniage: well-drained

Parent material: Glacial outwash.

Vegetation: Dryas integrafolia and Salix arctica.

Sampled by: C.L. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, R. Pringle, J. Arndt, E. Levine, N. Laporte and S. Goetz.

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                                     

(cm)

0-3           A                 10YR3/2, 2/2 loam; weak medium granular structure; very fraible, non-

plastic and nonsticky; few very fine and common fine and medium roots;

abrupt smooth boundary to

3-18        2Bw              7.5YR4/6 gravelly loam; weak medium granular structure; very fraible,

slightly plastic and nonsticky; common very fine and fine and few medium

roots; clear smooth boundary to

18-30      2BC              10YR3/2 very cobbly coarse loamy sand; weak medium granular structure;

very fraible, non plastic and nonsticky; common very fine and fine roots;

clear smooth boundary to

30-62      2C1              10YR2/2 very cobbly loamy sand; single grained; loose, nonplastic and

nonsticky; few fine roots;

62-100    2C2              10YR3/2 very cobbly loamy sand; single grained; loose, nonplastic and

nonsticky; no roots.

Soil classification: Sandy or sandy-skeletal, mixed, frigid Typic Eutrocryept

Explanation: Sandy or sandy-skeletal, mixed, frigid family - this soil has a sandy or loamy sand texture and the gravel content exceeds 35 % but less than 60% by volume, mixed minerology, and the mean annual soil temperature at 50 cm is <8°C.  Typic Eutrocryept - the common Inceptisols  occur in this kind of parent materials with noticeable oxidation and base saturation >60% (to be verified in lab).  This soil does not have permafrost within 1 m because of the coarse texture.

 

June 27, the class sampled the West Dock Kane & Hinzman’s site (west of the West Dock access road)

Location: Lat. 70° 22’ 21” N.; Long. 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.

Sampled by: C.L. Ping, R. Pringle, J. Arndt, R.J. Candler, and S. Goetz.

Soil profile description:

 

Depth      Horizon        Description                                                                                                       

(cm)

0-20          Oi               Sedge root mat, undecomposed

20-41         A               Mucky silt loam

41-55         Cgf            Frozen sediment, silty loam, gleyed presumably season frost

55-80         Cf              Frozen sediment, upper permafrost, high ice content (>60% by volume)

 

Soil Classification: Coarse-silty, mixed, nonacidic, pergelic Histic Aquorthel

Explanation: Coarse-silty, mixed, nonacidic, pergelic family- the soil has a silty loam texture in its mineral horizons, mixed mineralogy, soil pH> 5.0, and having mean annual soil temperature at 50 cm -4 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 and lacks cryoturbation.

 

July 1999.  Soil sampling at the ATLAS sites in Ivotuk and Council.  Investigators included C.L. Ping and , G.J. Michaelson (UAF), J.M. Kimble (NRCS national Soil Survey Center), L. Everett (Ohio State Univ.) and A. Munule (EPA).

 

July 7. Ivotuk Plot 2, Shrub site

Location: Lat. 68° 28’ 42” N.; Long. 155° 44’ 15” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Toeslope

Microrelief: slightly undulating and concave.

Slope: 6-8% south due east

Drainage: poorly drained

Parent material: Residual sedimentary rocks

Sampled by: CL. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                                     

(cm)

0-             Oi                Peat; 5-10 cm thick

                Oe               5YR2.5/3 muck peat, occasional cobbles on surface; 2-10 cm thick

                Oa               7.5YR3/3 muck; 3-6 cm ice lense amid the organic horizon; 5-15 cm thick

                Bg                2.5Y4/2 loam; medium to coarse platy structure; plastic and slightly

sticky; seasonally frozen; 10% angular rock fragment; 20-30 cm thick

             Wfm/Bgf         Loam; 70% ice; mineral soil reduced; pockets of cryoturbated organic

matter; 25 cm thick

85+         Wfm              Ice wedge

 

Soil classification: Fine-loamy, mixed, acidic, pergelic Glacic Histoturbel

Explanation: The depth increment of each horizon was not given because of the warped and distorted soil horizons due to cryoturbation.  However, the ranges of thickness of each horizon was given.  The soil has a loam texture and mixed mineralogy in its mineral horizons, and has acidic reactions (pH<5.5) and mean annual soil temperature at 50 cm colder than -4°C (estimated).  The undulating but continuous organic layers and the cryoturbated horizons key the soil into Histoturbel great group, and the presence of ice wedge or massive ground ice keys the soil into Glacic subgroup. However, I do not expect the ice wedges to be continuous under this whole plot.  Thus, for area where there is no ice wedges, the soil is classified as Fine-loamy, mixed, pergelic Ruptic Histoturbels because of the uneven thickness of the organic horizons.

 

 

July 7. Ivotuk Plot 3, Moist nonacidic tundra

Location: Lat. 68° 28’ 47.6” N.; Long. 155° 44’ 05” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Piedomont

Microrelief: Solifluction lobe.

Slope: 5% south due east

Drainage: well drained

Parent material: Residual metasedimentary rocks

Sampled by: CL. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                                     

(cm)

0-5           Oi                Peat; many very fine, fine and medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

5-39         Oe               5YR2.5/2 peaty muck, partiall decomposed organic matter; many very fine,

fine and medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

39-60       Bw               10YR3/3 gravelly loam (25% fractured sedimentary rock); weak, medium

angular block structure; slightly plastic and slightly sticky; common very

fine, fine, and few meduim roots; at the top of this horizon there is a thin

layer of flat rock fragments; abrupt smooth boundary to

60-80      Cf                 10YR2/1 very gravelly loam (40% fractured sedimentary rock fragments);

massive, compact, slightly plastic and slightly sticky; ice lenses 1 mm thick

about 2 cm apart

Soil classification: Coarse-loamy, mixed, nonacidic, pergelic Typic Molliturbel

Explanation: The color of the A horizon suggests a mollic epipedon and the soil horizons show evidence of down slope movement due to solifluction. Thus it is classified as Molliturbel. The sample was taken from the upper slope of the plot. The lower slope of the plot has a different microrelief; it is dominated by frostbroils and it is common to have fragment of shale or slate frost-churned to the surface.

 

 

July 8 Ivotuk Plot 4 Mioist acidic tundra

Location: Lat. 68° 28’ 49” N.; Long. 155° 44’ 44.6” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Piedomont

Microrelief: Tussocks.

Slope: 0-1%

Drainage: poorly drained

Parent material: Residual sedimentary rocks

Sampled by: CL. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                                     

(cm)

0-10         Oi                5YR3/2 peat; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; abrupt clear

boundary to

10-30       Oe               7.5YR2.5/2 peaty muck; many very fine, fine and few medium roots;

abrupt wavy boundary to

30-50       Bg                10YR3/3 loam; fine lenticular structure 3-5 mm thick; seasonal frozen, ice

lenses 1-2 mm and vertical ice veins 2-3 mm thick; slightly plastic and

slightly sticky; 10% cryoturbated organic matter; clear wavy boundary to

50-68       Bg/Oajjf       Bg 2.5Y3/3 gravelly loam; 20% rock fragment with some rounded gravel;

muck; 3-6 cm ice lense amid the organic horizon; 5-15 cm thick; plastic

and slightly sticky; 30% cryuturbated organic matter; 10YR2/1 muck

segregated ice crystals in organics

68+          Cf                Upper Permafrost

 

Soil classification: Loamy, mixed, acidic, pergelic Ruptic Histic Aquiturbel

Expalnation:  Ruptic Histic subgroup implies a organic horizon not even in thickness. Aquiturbel means a cryoturbated permafrost soils subjected to prolonged wetness and reduction during the growing season.

 

 

July 8 Ivotuk Plot 1 Mioist acidic tundra

Location: Lat. 68° 29’ 12” N.; Long. 155° 44’ 25” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Piedomont toeslope

Microrelief: Tussocks with frostboils

Slope: 6% SE convex

Drainage: poorly drained

Parent material: Residual sedimentary rocks

Sampled by: CL. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                                     

(cm)

0-22         Oi                5YR3/3 peat, tussock roots and moss layer; many fine and common

medium roots; 5-35 cm thick; abrupt wavy boundary to

22-41       Oejj             7.5YR3/2 peaty muck, partially decomposed organic matter; many very

fine, fine and few medium roots; common very fine, fine and few medium

roots;0-25 cm thick; abrupt wavy boundary to

41-50       Bwjj             10YR4/4 (50%) matrix, 2.5Y5/2(30%),2.5Y5/0 (10%) and 7.5YR4/6 in

root linings; silty clay loam; massive (wet), sticky and plastic; few very fine

and fine roots; 0-20 cm thick; clear gradual boundary to

50-63      Bgjj               10YR4/1 (60%) matrix, 10YR4/4 (35%), 2.5Y5/1, 5/0 and 7.5YR4/4 Fe

depletions and concentrations around common fine root channels and

linings; fine sandy loam, 7% round gravel; massive, wet, slightly plastic and

slightly sticky; 5-20 cm thick; clear smooth boundary to

63-100     Bg/Oajjf       75% Bg 10YR4/1 and 2.5Y5/1 fine sandy loam, 25% Oa 10YR3/1 muck;

massive, upper permafrost; slightly plastic and slightly sticky; no roots.

 

Soil classification: Coarse-loamy, mixed, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbel.

Explanation: Soil organic horizon discontinuous due to tussock tundra therefore it’s classified in the Ruptic-Histic subgroup.  The soils has redoxmorphic features (mottles) in the Bwjj and Bgjj horizons thus it keys into the Aquic great group. The soil key into the Turbic suborder because the soil horizons are warped and discontinuous due to cryoturbation. The ending “el” means it’s in the Gelisol order.  The upper permafrost appear at 63 cm based on soil morphology.

 

 

July 10, 1999. Oumalik 1. Acidic tundra

Location: Lat. 68° 43’ 58” N.; Long. 155° 51’ 49” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Piedomont toeslope

Microrelief: Tussocks

Slope: 3% SW convex

Drainage: poorly drained

Parent material: Residual sedimentary rocks

Sampled by: CL. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                                     

(cm)

0-8           Oi                10YR4/3 peat; moss and Eriophrum roots; clear irregular boundary to

8-15         Oe/Oa          10YR2/1 mucky peat and 7.5YR2/0 muck; partially decomposed organic

                                    matter intermixed with muck; many very fine, fine and few medium roots;

clear wavy boundary to

15-40       Bg                5Y4/2 (60%) and 2.5Y4/3 (25%) silty loam; 7.5YR4/6 and 10YR5/3

around root linings; strongly reduced; massive, wet; slightly plastic and

slightly sticky; common fine roots; lower part of this horizon seasonally

frozen and with some woody fragment; clear wavy boundary to

40-55      Oejj/Bg         10YR3/1 Oa; peaty muck; and 2.5Y4/2 silty loam; cryoturbated and

reduced; seasonally frozen, missive, slightly plastic and slightly sticky; few

fine roots and common medium root remains; abrupt smooth boundary to

55-75      Wfm/Bgf       2.5Y3/2 silty loam amid ice matrix; frost-churned Oe material mostly from

partially decomposed Eriophrum roots; few fine and many fine root

remains in Bg and Oe materials, respectively; ice content >60% by volume.

 

Soil classification: coarse-silty, mixed, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbel

Remarks:  Ice lenses below the intertussocks Oi horizons ranged 3-5 cm thick. No frost boils observed.

 

 

July 10, 1999. Oumalik 2. Moist nonacidic tundra

Location: Lat. 68° 44’ 05” N.; Long. 155° 52’ 12” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Piedomont toeslope

Microrelief: Frostboils (inactive)

Slope: 3% SW convex

Drainage: poorly drained

Parent material: Residual sedimentary rocks

Sampled by: CL. Ping, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                         

(cm)

0-5           Oi                Litter layer; abrupt wavy boundary to

5-27         Bw               10YR3/3 (35%), 2.5Y3/2 (30%), 7.5YR4/6 (25%), and 10YR4/4 silty

loam; weak, medium platy structure; friable when moist, slightly sticky and

slightly plastic when wet; many very fine, fine, and few medium roots; clear

smooth boundary to

27-46       Bg/Oajj        2.5Y3/2 (50%), 2.5Y4/2 (30%) silty loam and 10YR2/1 cryoturbated

muck; weak medium platy structures; very fraible when moist, slightly

sticky and slightly plastic when wet; common very fine and fine roots;

abrupt smooth boundary to

46-59      Bg                 5Y2.5/1 (40%). 10YR3/1 (20%) silty loam and 10YR3/2 (15%) and

10YR2/1 (5%) muck in streaks; reduced; Fe concentrations in 7.5YR4/4

(20%) around root linings and in mucky streaks; weak medium platy

structures imbed with seasonally ice lenses; friable when moist and slightly

sticky and slightly plastic when wet; common very fine and fine roots;

abrupt smooth boundary to

59-67      Cf                 5Y4/2 (60%), 5Y4/2 (25%) very fine sandy loam, and 10YR2/1 (15%)

muck; reduced; massive, frozen; slightly sticky and slightly plastic when

wet; ice net (vertical cracks) 2-3 cm apart and ice lenses 1-2 mm thick; few

root remains; abrupt smooth boundary to

67+          Wfm Ice wedge

 

Soil classification: Coarse-silty, mixed, gelic Glacic Aquiturbel

Explanation:  The soil keys into the Glacic subgroup because of the presence of ice wedge. It keys into the Aquic great group due to the reduced matrix in Bg and Cf and the redoximorphic features (mottles) in these two horizons. The Turbic suborder is due to the strongly cryoturbated Bg/Oajj horizon.  The extent of ice wedges under this landcover type is not known but I suppose that not the whole unit is under ice wedge. Thus for areas without ice wedges or ground ice, the soils should be classified as Typic Aquiturbels. 

 

 

July 12, 1999 Council 1, Open Woodland Plot

Location: Lat. 64° 53’ 59” N.; Long. 163° 40’ 01” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Back slope of rolling hills

Microrelief: slightly convex and undulating

Slope: 8% east-facing

Drainage: well drained

Parent material: Residual, mica-rich schist

Sampled by: CL. Ping, Xiaoyan Dai, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                         

(cm)

0-2           Oi                7.5YR4/3 peat; least decomposed litter layer; 1-2 cm thick; abrupt smooth boundary to cm thick)

2-8           Oa               2.5YR2.5/1 muck; highly decomposed organic matter; common very fine,

fine and medium roots; 8-14 cm thick; abrupt smooth boundary to

8-19         Bhs              5YR3/2 fine sandy loam; weak medium subangular blocky structure; friable

when moist, nonsticky and nonplastic when wet; common very fine, fine

and few medium roots; some fine pebbles at contact with the horizon

below; abrupt wavy boundary to

19-37       BC1             2.5Y4/2 loam; 30% mottles 10YR4/6 in masses and root channels; weak

medium platy structure; fraible when moist, slightly sticky and slightly

plastic when wet; few very fine and fine roots; clear smooth boundary to

37-60       BC2             2.5Y4/3 loam; weak fine lenticular structure with 20% fine ice lenses

(seasonal frozen); firm when frozen, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when

wet; few fine roots; 5% gravel; clear smooth boundary to

60-80       BC3             2.5Y 4/3 loam with 10% muck of 5YR3/2 and 7.5YR3/3; moderate

medium lenticular structures with ice lenses 1-3 mm thick; firm when

frozen, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet; abrupt smooth

boundary to

80+      CR                   Fractured bedrock (mica schist) with cracks filled with seasonally

frozen loamy soils.

 

Soil classification: Fine-loamy, mixed, cryic Spodic Dystrocryept (tentative)

Explanation: The soil is in the fine-loamy family because the mineral soil horizons lack coarse sand and fine gravel and having clay content >18% by field estimation. The mineralogy is mixed. The mean annual soil temperature at 50 cm is estimated <8°C thus it has a cryic soil temperature regime.  The color of the Bhs horizon suggest it has eluvial accumulation of Fe-humus complexes thus it keys into the Spodic subgroup.  It keys into the Dystro- great group because the base saturation is estimated <60%. Cryept means it is a cold Inceptisol.

 

Remarks:

The BC3 horizon has well developed cryogenic fabrics, i.e, lenticular structure. This suggest the past permafrost environment.

 

 

July 12, 1999 Council 2, Forest Plot (50 ft SW of Tower)

Location: Lat. 64° 54’ 27” N.; Long. 163° 40’ 24.5” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Back slope of rolling hills

Microrelief: slightly convex and undulating

Slope: 5% east-facing

Drainage: well drained

Parent material: Residual, mica-rich schist

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping, Xiaoyan Dai, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                         

(cm)

0-11         Oi                7.5YR4/3 peat; undecomposed litter layer; many very fine, fine medium

and few coarse roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

11-13      Oe                5YR2.5/2 mucky peat; partially decomposed organic matter; many very

fine, fine and few medium and coarse roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

13-31      Oa                5YR2.5/1 muck; highly decomposed organic matter; common  very fine,

fine and few medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

31-57      Bhs               7.5YR3/3 very fine sandy loam; weak thin platy structure; friable when

moist, nonsticky and nonplastic when wet; common very fine and fine

roots; 10% of the horizon intrudes into the underlying horizon along crack

lines in wedge shape and this portion has strong lenticular structures; 

abrupt wavy boundary to

57-90      2C                2.5Y5/3 sandy loam; moderate medium lanticular structure; friable when

moist, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet; few fine root remains;

10% gravel; clear smooth boundary to

90-110    2CR              2.5Y5/3 very gravelly sandy loam in cracks of fractured bed rock from

angular and channery mica schist.

 

Soil classification: Coarse-loamy, mixed, cryic Spodic Dystrocryept

Explanation: See Council Plot 1.

Remarks: This soil shows evidence of past permafrost as indicated by the well developed cryogenic fabrics in 2C horizon.

 

 

July 12, 1999. Council 3. Tundra site

Location: Lat. 64° 50’ 32.6” N.; Long. 163° 41’ 39.2” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Flood plain

Microrelief: hummocky with thermokarst

Slope:

Drainage: Poor to very poor

Parent material: lacustrine

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping, Xiaoyan Dai, G.J. Michaelson, J.M. Kimble, L. Everett and A. Munule

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon          Description                                                                                         

(cm)

0-22         Oi                7.5YR3/3 peat; undecomposed moss and litters; many very fine, fine and

medium roots; abrupt wavy boundary to

22-30       Oe               2.5YR3/2 peaty muck; partially decomposed organic matter; many very

fine, fine and comon medium roots; abrupt wavy boundary to

30-52       Oa               2.5YR3/2 muck; highly decomposed sedge residue; weak thin platy

structure; few fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

52-68       Bgf               2.5Y3/2 silty clay loam; weak, thin lenticular structure; frozen, ice lenses 1-

2 mm thick; sticky and plastic when wet; reduced; common fine root

remains, few live Eriophrum roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

68-84       Oabf            5YR3/2 buried muck layer from decomposed Sphagnum; frozen with fine

seggregated ice crystals; abrupt smooth boundary to

84-100     Cf                2.5Y3/2 silty clay loam; ice-rich (ataxitic horizon), >65% ice by volume;

                                    sticky and plastic when wet; 5% cryoturbated organic matter.

 

Soil classification: Dysic Fluvaquentic Hemistel

Explanation:  This is a frozen organic soil. The soil has a dysic family because it has acidic reaction (moist acidic tundra).  The mixed texture of hemic between 0-52 cm keys it into the Hemistel great group.  The layer of silty clay loam at 52-68 cm suggests its fluvial origin thus ihe soil keys into the Fluvaquentic subgroup.  Ice wedges may present in some areas judging from the occurrence of thermokarst. Thus soils with ice wedge are classified as Dysic Hemic Glacistels.

 

 

July 13, 1999. Council 4. “Blueberry” shrub tundra site

Location: Lat. 64° 53’ 29” N.; Long. 163° 38’ 57.6” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Hills, shoulder slope

Microrelief: hummocky with frostboils

Slope: 20% SE facing

Drainage: Imperfect

Parent material: Colluvium

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping, Xiaoyan Dai and G.J. Michaelson

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon         Description                                                                                          

(cm)

0-25        Oi                 10YR3/3 peat; undecomposed moss and litter; many very fine, fine and

common medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary to ( 6-27 cm thick, with

thicker part under Sphagnum moss and thinner part under sedge)

25-29      Oa                5YR2.5/1 muck; highly decomposed organic matter; weak, fine granular

structure; very fraible when moist, nonsticky and nonplastic when wet;

many very fine, fine and common medium roots; abrupt wavy boundary to

(3-7 cm thick)

29-33      A                  2.5Y2.5/1 very gravely silty loam; weak, fine subangular structure; friable

when moist, slightly stick and slightly plastic when wet; 65% channers and

flat slate fragment; many very fine ,fine and few medium roots; abrupt

irregular boundary to (0-4 cm thick)

33-50      Bg                 5Y3/1 very gravely loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic

when wet; 15% Fe concentration 10YR4/4 around root channels; common

fine and medium roots; 60% channers and flagstones; clear smooth

boundary to (5-15 cm thick)

50-70     BCg               5Y3/1 very gravely loam; moderate medium sbuangular blocky structure;

weak medium lenticular structure in pockets; friable when moist and

slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet; common fine roots; 65%

channers and flagstones; abrupt irregular boundary to (5-20 cm

thick)

70-76     2Bwb             7.5YR3/4 fine sandy loam; buried horizon; moderate medium subangular

and moderate medium platy structure; very fraible when moist, nonsticky

and nonplastic when wet; few fine and medium roots; common fine root

channels; abrupt irregular boundary to (0-9 cm thick)

76-100   Bgb                5Y3/1 very gravely loam; buried horizon; moderate medium to coarse platy

structure breaking into moderate medium subangular structure; friable

when moist, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet; few fine medium

roots, common root channels; >60% channers and flagstones, mostly slate.

 

Soil classification: Loamy-skeletal, mixed, cryic Histic Cryaquept

Explanation: The soil has a loamy-skeletal family due to its >35% rock fragment content. It has a mixed mineralogy. It keys into the Inceptisol order and Aquic suborder because of the reduced matrix and redoximorphic features in the Bg horizon caused by episaturation.  The mean annual soil temperature at 50 cm is estimated <8°C but without permafrost, thus it has a cryic soil temperature regime and the soil keys into Cryaquept great group. The Histic subgroup reflects the moderate thick (15-40 cm) organic horizon.  This soils is polygenic because it shows evidence of frostboils and solifluction; the current surface is the result of frostboil and the buried horizons are due to solifluction.

 

 

July 13, 1999. Council 5. Shrub site

Location: Lat. 64° 56’ 09” N.; Long. 163° 44’ 14.6” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Hills, backslope, convex

Microrelief: plane

Slope:

Drainage: well-drained

Parent material: Residuum

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping, Xiaoyan Dai and G.J. Michaelson

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon         Description                                                                                          

(cm)

0-5           Oi                7.5YR3/3; peat;  slightly decomposed litter; many very fine, fine, common

medium and few coarse roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

5-11         Oa               10YR2/1 muck; highly decomposed organic matter; weak fine granular

structure; friable when moist, nonsticky and nonplastic when wet; many

very fine, fine and common medium roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

11-30       Bw               2.5Y4/2 loam; 20% mottles 10YR3/6 in masses; moderate thin lenticular

structure; fraible when mois, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet;

common very fine, fine and few medium roots; 8% channers; clear wavy

boundary to

30-50       BC               5Y3/2 loam; moderate thin platy structure breaking into moderate fine

structure; friable when moist, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet;

few fine roots; 10% cobbles; clear smooth boundary to

50+          CR               2.5Y4/2 very channery sandy loam; soil filled in channer cracks; slightly

sticky and slightly plastic when wet; 65% channers and most rock

fragments has silt caps; few ice crsytals in rock cracks due to seasonal

frost.

 

Soil classification: Loamy, mixed, cryic Typic Dystrocryept

Explanation: The soils has a loamy texture between 25 cm from the mineral surface to 100 cm or to the CR horizon. It also has a cryic soil temperature regime thus it keys into the Cryept suborder. The base saturation in the mineral horizon is estimated less than 60% thus it keys into the Dystrocryept great group.  It is in the Typic subgroup because there is no other special features.

 

 

September, 1999.  C.L. Ping and G.J. Michaelson sampled soils from CALM sites in Prudhue Bay (M.P. 411) and Galbraith Lake, and the ATLAS/ITEX site by the Toolik Lake Snow Fence Plot (acidic tundra). Ron Paetzold downloaded monitoring data from dataloggers at these sites.

 

September 14, 1999.  Toolik Lake, Snow Fence site - Moist acidic tundra

 

Location: Lat. 68° 37’ 00” N.; Long. 149° 35’ 00” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Foothills, convex

Microrelief: hummocky

Slope: 10% east

Drainage: poorly-drained

Parent material: glacial till

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping and G.J. Michaelson

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon         Description                                                                                          

(cm)

0-5           Oi                2.5YR4/3 peat; many medium and common fine roots; abrupt irregular

boundary to

5-25         Oe               7/5YR3/3 mucky peat; many very fine, fine and common medium roots;

                                    abrupt irregular boundary to

25-37       Oa               7.5YR3/2 muck; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; abrupt wavy

boundary to

37-50       Bg1              2.5Y5/2 loam, matrix with 30% 10YR4/6 root linings; moderate medium

subangular structure; friable when moist and slightly sticky and slightly

plastic when wet; many very fine and fine roots; abrupt irregular boundary

to

50-65       Bg/Oajj        10YR3/3 mucky silty loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic

when wet; common fine roots; clear smooth boundary to

65-75       Bg2              2.5Y4/2 and 5Y4/1 silty loam; saturated and reduced, slightly sticky and

slightly plastic when wet; abrupt smooth boundary to

75-87       Cf                10YR3/2 loam; frozen, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet; ice rich

                                    upper permafrost.

 

Soil classification: Fine-loamy, mixed, gelic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbel

 

 

September 15, 1999. Prudhoe Bay, MP 411, wet nonacidic tundra (Romanovski’s site)

 

Location: Lat. 69° 00’ 00” N.; Long. 149° 00’ 00” W.

Elevation:

Landform: Arctic coastal plain

Microrelief: frostboils and low hummocks

Slope: 1% north

Drainage: very poorly-drained

Parent material: alluvium

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping and G.J. Michaelson

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon         Description                                                                                          

(cm)

0-5           Oi                7.5YR3/4 peat; many fine and few medium roots; marl deposit on surface;

abrupt wavy boundary to

5-18         Oa/Oe          10YR3/3 muck; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; abrupt wavy

boundary to

18-35       Bg1              5Y4/1 silty loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when wet;

many very fine roots; abrupt irregular boundary to

35-45       Oajj             10YR3/2 mucky silty loam; pockets in Bg horizon; saturated; common fine

                                    roots; abrupt irregular boundary to

45-80       Bg2              5Y3.5/1.5 silty loam; saturated, slightly sticky and slightly plastic when

wet; common fine roots; abrupt smooth boundary to

80+          Cf                Upper permafrost; silty loam; ice content>60%.

 

Soil classification: Fine-silty, mixed, gelic, calcareous Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbel

 

 

September 17, 1999. Galbraith Lake, moist nonacidic tundra (Romanovski’s site)

 

Location: Lat. 68° 28’ 37” N.; Long. 149° 30’ 12” W.

Elevation:

Landform: fan

Microrelief: frostboils and low hummocks

Slope: 0%

Drainage: poorly-drained

Parent material: alluvium

Sampled and described by: CL. Ping and G.J. Michaelson

Soil profile description:

Depth      Horizon         Description                                                                                          

(cm)

0-10         Oi                7.5YR3/1 peat; many very fine, fine and few medium roots; clear smooth

                                    boundary to

10-28       Oe/Oa          7.5YR2.5/2 peaty muck; many very fine and fine roots; abrupt smooth

                                    boundary to

28-49       Bg                2.5Y4/1 silty loam; weak coarse angular blocky structure breaking into

                                    weak medium lenticular structure; friable when moist, slightly sticky and

                                    plastic when wet; common fine roots; abrupt wavy boundary to

49-58      Oejj/Bg         10YR2/2 peaty muck (60%) and 2.5Y4/1 silty loam; saturated, slightly

sticky and slightly plastic; abrupt smooth boundary to

58-73      Cf/Oejjf         2.5Y4/1 silty loam (70%) and 10YR2/2 peaty muck; slightly sticky and

slightly plastic.

 

Soil classification: Fine-silty, mixed, gelic, nonacidic Ruptic-Histic Aquiturbel