soil moisture

Habitat Suitability - Soil Moisture


Investigation of the variation in soil biota and soil properties across the McMurdo Dry Valleys as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. The moisture content of soil samples which are collected for organism extraction and identification is determined. This study was carried out in the austral summer 1993/1994

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 General sampling sites representative of the dominant local environment were selected at each location. Nine grid points within a 1 m2 frame, oriented to the north, were sampled. Three equidistant samples were taken along the north side, through the middle and along the south side of the quadrat parallel to one another. These nine samples were labled "a" through "i" for each quadrat.  Sampling bags were prepared with one sterile 'Whirlpak' bag and clean plastic scoop per sample. Samples were taken from within the 85 cm diameter circular area of each plot. The location of the sampling was recorded each year so that areas were not re-sampled. Using the plastic scoop, soil was collected to 10 cm depth. Very large rocks (>20 mm diameter) were excluded from the sample. The soil was shoveled into the 'Whirlpak' bag until three quarters full (about 1.5 kg soil). The soil was mixed well in the bag, then the bag was closed tightly, expelling as much air as possible. The soil samples were stored in a cooler for transportation. On return to the laboratory (within 8 hours of sampling), the soils were stored at -8C until further processing.
In the laboratory, soil samples were handled in a laminar flow hood to prevent contamination. The Whirlpak bags of soil were mixed thoroughly prior to opening. A sub-sample of approximately 50g was removed and placed in a pre-weighed aluminum soil can, and weighed on a balance accurate to 0.01g. This sample was dried at 105C for 24 hours. The sample was removed, placed in a desiccator to cool down, and re-weighed. These data were used to calculate water content of the soil.
Locations are: Adjacent to Lake Hoare, Cape Royds, Lake Fryxell, Lake Bonney, Lake Victoria, Lake Vida, Clark Glacier, Labyrinth, Lake Vanda and Lake Brownworth. Original data are stored in Room A208,  Natural and Environmental Sciences Building, Colorado State University.


This file was created by Mark St. John on 15 Oct 1998, using raw data from the Excel workbook '9394EGso.RAW'. The file format was suggested by the LTER data manager, to conform with the relational database structure. [AnP 19 Sept 1997]. The file name was changed to 9394bdso.dat on 17 Oct 01 by Nicole DeCrappeo. (ND17 Oct 01)


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