Sagwon Hills MNT

General Information

Created: 2014-01-02 11:04:54
Modified: 2015-11-11 09:40:22

Active: No
Country:United States
CALM-Code:U32 A
Responsible Countries: United States,
Timezone:UTC/GMT -09:00 hours
Vegetation Type:Tundra
Responsible Person:Nikolay Shiklomanov
Offset:10 m



Hill, gentle northwest-facing slope (4 degrees) with nonsorted circles; moist nonacidic tundra.

Vegetation communities: (1) Vegetated nonsorted circles: Moist Eriophorum triste, E. vaginatum, Dryas integrifolia, Hylocomium splendens, Racomitrium lanuginosum, Thamnolia subuliformis graminoid, prostrate-shrub tundra. (2) Barren nonsorted circles: Dry Saxifraga oppositifolia, Juncus biglumis, Ochrolechia frigida forb, crustose-lichen barren (3) Areas between nonsorted circles: Moist Dryas integrifolia, Salix reticulata, Eriophorum triste, Tomentypnum nitens, prostrate-shrub, graminoid, moss tundra. Cover of top 5 species: Carex bigelowii (20%), Dryas integrifolia (14%), Eriophorum triste (14%), Hylocomium splendens (10%), Eriophorum vaginatum (9%)

Mean vegetation height: 3.9 +/- 4.6 cm

Mean live moss layer thickness: 2.1 +/-1.4 cm

Organic layer thickness: 9 +/- 1.2 cm.

 (Walker and Bockheim, 1995)



Beginning in 1995, the active layer has been probed at least annually at the site. The procedure involves pushing a metal rod, calibrated in cm, to the point of refusal, interpreted in most cases to be the frost table. Thaw depth measurements at each site were obtained by probing at 5 m intervals along the plot’s two perpendicular and one diagonal transect, resulting in 71 points per plot per probing date.

In 1995 the site was instrumented with several OnsetTM portable data loggers connected to probe-type thermistors. Each logger/thermistor system has an effective temperature range of -50oC to +33oC and resolution of approximately 0.32oC. At the site, one thermistor was placed in a radiation shield approximately 2 m above the ground surface, and nine loggers were placed at the interface between mineral soil and organic material in various microtopographic positions within the site. Temperature measurements were collected at, 1 hr, and 2 hr intervals depending on season, and year. Details on methodology are provided in Klene et. al 2001.

The soil climate station (Sagwon1) was established in June of 1996 and is located 0.5 miles west of the Haul road (Dalton Hwy.) in the Sagwon hills within the CALM U32A site. The elevation is about 244 m (800 ft). This station monitors air temperature, soil temperature at various depths to a maximum of 70 cm, and soil water contents at 10, 25, and 40 cm depths. Measurements are made at 20-minute intervals and averaged and recorded every hour.


Soil temperature and soil moisture metadata and data are also available at

Slope:2 °
Permafrost Zone:Continuous
Vegetation:Moist nonacidic tundra
Landform:Foothills tundra and prostrate-dwarf-shrub. Hill, gentle northwest-facing slope (4 degrees) with nonsorted circles
Lithology:Pergelic Cryaquolls (43%), P. Cryaquepts (18%), P. Cryoborolls (14%), others (25%).
Description:General description of soil moisture : Moist
Access Timeseries
Bibliographic References
Klene A.E., Nelson F.E., Shiklomanov N.I., and K.M. Hinkel. 2001 The n-factor in natural landscapes: Variability of air and soil-surface temperatures, Kuparuk River basin, Alaska. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 33(2): 140-148.
Nelson, F.E., Shiklomanov, N.I., and G.R. Mueller. Variability of active-layer thickness at multiple spatial scales, north-central Alaska, USA. 1999 Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 31(2): 179-186.
Shiklomanov, N.I. and F.E. Nelson. Analytic representation of the active layer thickness field, Kuparuk River basin, Alaska. 1999 Ecological Modelling, 123: 105-125.
Walker, D. A., and J. G. Bockheim, Site selection for the portable flux towers, ARCSS/LAII/Flux Study, 1316 June 1995, Summary of field activities, Land-Atmos.-Ice Interact. Sci. Manage. Off., Geophys. Inst.,Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks, 1995.
Shiklomanov, N.I. and F.E. Nelson. 2003 Climatic variability in the Kuparuk region, north-central Alaska: optimizating spatial and temporal interpolation in a sparse observation network. Arctic, 56: 136-146.
Shiklomanov, N.I. and F.E. Nelson. 2003 Statistical representation of landscape-specific active-layer variability. In Phillips, M., Springman, S. M., and Arenson, L. U. (eds.), Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Permafrost, vol. 2. Lisse: A.A. Balkema, 1039-1044.
Walker D.A., Jia G.J., Epstein H.E., Raynolds M.K., Chapin III F.S., Copass C., Hinzman L.D., Kane D., Knudson J.A., Maier H., Michaelson G.J., Nelson F.E., Ping C.L., Shiklomanov N.I., Romanovsky V.E., Shur Y. 2003 Vegetation-soil-thaw-depth relationships along a Low Arctic bioclimatic gradient, Alaska: Synthesis of information from the Atlas studies. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 14: 103-123.
Klene A.E., Nelson F.E., and N.I. Shiklomanov. 2001 The n-factor as a tool in geocryological mapping: seasonal thaw in the Kuparuk River Basin, Alaska. Physical Geography, 22(6): 449-466.
Bockheim, J.G., Walker, D.A., Everett, L.R., Nelson, F.E. and N.I. Shiklomanov. 1998 . Soils and cryoturbation in moist nonacidic and acidic tundra in the Kuparuk River basin, Arctic Alaska, USA. Arctic and Alpine Research, 30(2): 166-174.
Nelson, F.E., Hinkel, K.M., Shiklomanov, N.I., Mueller, G.R., Miller, L.L., and D.A., Walker. Active-layer thickness in north central Alaska: systematic sampling, scale, and spatial autocorrelation. 1998 Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 103(D22): 28963-28973.
Nelson, F.E., Outcalt, S.I., Brown, J., Shiklomanov, N.I., and K.M. Hinkel. Spatial and temporal attributes of the active-layer thickness record, Barrow, Alaska, USA, 1998 Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Permafrost. Centre de etudes
Shiklomanov N. I. and F. E. Nelson, F. E., 2002. Active-layer mapping at regional scales: a 13-year spatial time series for the Kuparuk region, north-central Alaska. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 13: 219-230.

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sagwon hills MNT

Longitude:-148.67033 °
Latitude:69.441 °
Elevation:247.759338 m
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