St. Mary’s

General Information

Created: 2014-02-03 08:40:56
Modified: 2014-02-03 08:41:41

Active: No
Country:United States
Site:St. Mary\'s
Responsible Countries: United States,
Timezone:UTC/GMT -09:00 hours
Vegetation Type:Shrub Tundra
Responsible Person:Leah M. Anderson
Offset:5 m



The St. Mary’s site is located west of Happy Valley outside of the town of St. Mary’s, which is situated along the Yukon River in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.  The 50m2 grid is located in an area of open tundra with surrounding low bushes on the upper portion of a hill.  The site is found approx 100m off the West side of the road heading to the airport, behind area of scrub brush, near road marker A99.  Many low bush berries and open tundra characterize the vegetation. The 50mx50m grid, established in 2009, is marked with survey stakes at 10m intervals.  The grid center (N62.048, W163.23) contains continuous soil temperature & soil moisture sensors at ‘above permafrost’ & ‘just below surface’ levels.  An air temperature sensor also records on a 30 min continuous cycle.  The grid was established in 2009 through a cooperative agreement with Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council & the U.S. Geological Survey, with assistance from Yupiit of Andreafski’s Environmental Coordinator.



The specific location of the St. Mary’s site was selected using Traditional Ecological Knowledge of permafrost distribution and depth, followed by on-site ground truthing.

The grid consisted of 50 survey stakes at 10-meter intervals, creating a 50mx50m square grid with a maximum of 100 data points.  Active Layer measurements were taken manually every 5m.  The measurements were taken at the lowest surface level within about 0.3m of the designated point.  The "surface level" was determined to be the top of the low-lying vegetation (i.e. moss, lichen, low-bush berries). 

[CALM protocol suggests a grid size of 100mx100m, however a 50m2 grid was deemed acceptable due to difficult terrain and length of time for installation (personal communication Dr. V.Romanovsky).]

The soil climate station was established in early September 2009 and is located at grid center. The station monitors air temperature, soil temperature & soil moisture.

The HOBO micro station was installed at the grid center.  A ~30cm2 hole was dug down to the permafrost layer approx 75 cm.  After 30cm it was difficult to maintain the hole due to “sloppy” soil conditions. One set of soil moisture and soil temperature sensors were placed just above the permafrost layer (approx 60cm due to sloppy soil conditions) and one set just below surface level.  Soil samples were cut from each level (2x2in cubes) to be analyzed for soil moisture content.

The HOBO pro v2 temp/ext temp sensor was installed, recording air temperature, near the grid center about one meter off the ground surface. The Hobo data logger is set to store data on 30min intervals for up to 428 days. 

GPS points were taken at the four corners of the grid, as well as the center point where the sensors were located.  Site elevation is 147m, recorded at grid center.

Slope:6 °
Permafrost Zone:Discontinuous
Vegetation:Tundra, grasses, moss, lichen, berries, low bushes
Landform:River delta
Lithology:Moss and lichen with rich organic layer within the top 30 cm, followed by a mixture of red semi-gravel to dark grey clay soil. Near the permafrost layer is a very wet “slop” consistency soil. Organic/peat, red semi gravel, dk grey clay, very wet “slop” Organic layer thickness ~ 20cm Non – 40cm grey clay/gravel/mud
Description:General description of soil moisture : moist-wet
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U46 St Mary s

Longitude:-163.23412 °
Latitude:62.04755 °
Elevation:144.67955017 m
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