Site-specific soil properties of the US climate reference network soil moisture

Timothy B. Wilson, C. Bruce Baker, Tilden P. Meyers, John Kochendorfer, Mark Hall, Jesse E. Bell, Howard J. Diamond, Michael A. Palecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to provide direct measurements of soil properties for 70 of the 114 US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) sites across the continental United States. Soil properties determined from the analysis of soil core samples include the particle size distribution (PSD, consisting of sand, silt, and clay contents), soil texture classifications, bulk density (BD), and the soil moisture content at water potentials of 33 kPa (field capacity, FC) and 1500 kPa (wilting point, WP). Sand, silt, and clay contents of the 70 sites indicated about 10 soil texture classifications as follows: three sites with loamy sand, 15 with sandy loam, two with clay, 11 with silt loam, five with clay loam, 10 with loam, seven with sand, eight with silty clay loam, four with sandy clay, and three with silty clay. The comparison of soil properties among soil depths and pits indicated considerable variability, with the silt, clay, and sand contents varying more with soil depth than with location at individual sites. The silt content tended to decrease with soil depth, clay tended to increase, and sand tended to vary randomly with depth. Regression lines fitted to values of FC and WP between the pits indicated a slope > 0.8, R2 > 0.88, and RMSE ranging from 2.7 to 4%. Compared with FC and WP, BD was less consistent among the pits, with slope = 0.6, R2 = 0.4, and RMSE of about 0.2 g cm−3

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalVadose Zone Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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