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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Soil Temperature Regimes in Nevada1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 47 No. 5, p. 977-982
    Received: Jan 27, 1983
    Accepted: May 31, 1983

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  1. T. W. Schmidlin,
  2. F. F. Peterson and
  3. R. O. Gifford2



Estimates of the 12-month mean annual soil temperature (MAST) for well-drained soils in Nevada can be made from two—or better—three, four, or six equally spaced monthly readings. A regression of MAST (°C) against elevation (ELEV), in meters, and latitude (LAT), in decimal degrees, using 84 well-drained sites with < 15% slope, allows estimation of MAST for similar soils in Nevada by the equation: MAST = 50.1 − 0.0064(ELEV) − 0.66(LAT). This equation was used to construct a soil temperature regime map for Nevada that shows mesic soils are by far most extensive, thermic soils next most extensive, and that inextensive hyperthermic soils occur only in southern Nevada. Frigid and cryic soils are inextensive and occur only high on major mountain ranges or isolated peaks. Comparison of minimum elevations of frigid and cryic soils suggests that the latter are much more common in the steep mountains where they both occur. These elevations were estimated from the MAST regression and a second regression for mean summer soil temperature (MSST) using the same sites: MSST = 72.4 − 0.0077(ELEV) − 0.95(LAT). Steep slope and aspect affect both MAST and MSST in the high mountains, hence affect the location of mesic/frigid/cryic boundaries. Pergelic soils probably do not occur in Nevada.

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