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Is the Soil Frozen, or Not? An Algorithm Using Weather Records

Cary, J.W. and Campbell, G.S. and Papendick, R.I. (1978) Is the Soil Frozen, or Not? An Algorithm Using Weather Records. Water Resources Research. 14(6):1117-1122.

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Frozen soil water is important in hydrologic events because it reduces water infiltration. The presence
of soil ice can be predicted reasonably well from detailed knowledge of the soil and microclimatic
variables, but this type of information is generally unavailable. Consequently, the purpose of this study
was to start with fundamental relations and see how well frozen soil conditions could be identified from
daily weather station records of maximum-minimum temperatures, solar radiation, and snowfall. Two
relations were developed, one based on the soil-atmosphere energy budget and the other on the heat flux
across the soil surface layer. Conceptually, the two equations may be used together to give daily snowmelt
as well as soil thawing and freezing rates, but in practice, the snowmen prediction is probably not yet
accurate enough for most practical applications. The simpler equation, describing the heat flux in the soil
surface, does not require solar radiation input, yet it gave fair predictions of frozen soil on five diverse
sites studied in the Palouse region of eastern Washington. Both approaches require only a single constant
that accounts for individual site conditions such as slope, aspect, cover, and soil properties.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0411
Subjects: Soil
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:52
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 22:46
Item ID: 342