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Soil Climate Research Stations

Links to data from soil climate research stations in Alaska and Antarctica.

Effects of climate change can be detected in the seasonal thaw characteristics and active-layer depths of permafrost soils. Currently, there are 9 soil climate stations located on the North Slope of Alaska at Toolik, Prudhoe Bay area (3 stations), Sagwon Hills (2 stations), Barrow (2 stations) and Atqasuk. The stations were established starting in 1996, and primarily focus on monitoring soil temperature and soil moisture at various depths down to 1.2 m (the active layer and upper permafrost).  Atmospheric parameters are absent at most of the stations. Albedo is measured at one site. 

There are nine soil climate stations located in the McMurdo Sound region of Antarctica that were established starting in 1999 through 2011. Four of the stations are in the Dry Valleys and four are located along the coast. The ninth station is located on Mt. Fleming near the polar plateau. Each climate station measures atmospheric parameters (air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and solar radiation) and soil parameters (soil moisture and temperature) that extend from the active layer (seasonally thawed layer) into the permafrost. Recorded measurements are made on an hourly basis. At each climate station the soils have been sampled and characterized at the Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory.

Each of the links below contain a description folder that includes general information, station record, data labels, pedon description, and characterization data (HTM file; download and open). You can also download data by year (Excel files).

Photo of a soil climate research station.


Photo of a soil climate research station from Don Juan Pond in Antarctica.



Every effort is made to ensure that the data is accurate, verified, and up-to-date. However, there are undoubtedly some errors. As errors are discovered, they are corrected and updated accordingly. Gathering all of the station information is a time consuming task and all of the available information may not be available at this time, pending sorting and verification. Later updates will contain more information.

Recommended Citation

Soil Survey Staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Soil Climate Research Station Data [Station Name, Alaska or Antarctica]. Available online.

Additional Information

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