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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 46 No. 2, p. 372-376
    Received: Nov 2, 1981
    Accepted: Nov 2, 1981

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Predicting Temperatures of Bare- and Residue-covered Soils from Daily Maximum and Minimum Air Temperatures1

  1. S. C. Gupta,
  2. J. K. Radke,
  3. W. E. Larson and
  4. M. J. Shaffer2



The manuscript describes a model for prediction of soil temperature of bare and various residue-covered soils with and without a corn crop where the needed inputs are (i) daily maximum and minimum air temperatures at the 2-m height, (ii) initial soil temperature, and (iii) thermal diffusivity profiles. This is a simplification of our earlier model and involves the replacement of measured hourly air temperature by an estimate.

Predictions of root zone temperature from the current model are tested against the measured values for six treatments representing various degrees of cover resulting from either the residue or shading by growing plants. Ninety-five percent of the daily predicted temperatures at the 5-cm depth are within −5.3 to 7.1°C and −2.0 to 3.1°C of the measured values for bare soil and corn plus 50% residue-covered soil, respectively. Differences between the predicted and measured root zone temperatures decreased with an increase in plant or residue cover at the surface and soil depth.

Replacement of measured hourly air temperature by an estimate in the soil temperature model drastically reduces the amount of input data needed to predict root zone temperatures. The predicted temperatures are valuable as inputs for crop growth and nitrogen transformation modeling and in forecasting spring root zone temperatures for various plant or residue covers based upon forecasts of the daily maximum and minimum air temperatures. These predicted values of root zone temperatures can be useful in deciding the planting dates for the Northern Corn Belt States.

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