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Soil Frost at Sleepers River Research Watershed, Danville, Vermont


Publication Date
Start Date
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Chalmers, A.T., Clark, S.F., and Shanley, J.B., 2020, Soil Frost at Sleepers River Research Watershed, Danville, Vermont: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Soil frost measurements have been made at Sleepers River Research Watershed starting in 1983. Measurements were made by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory from 1983 to 1993, followed by the U.S. Geological Survey from 1993 to the present. Measurements started at 5 sites and has increased to 10 sites. Sites range in elevation from 225 to 670 meters and are in a mix of field and forest types. Soil frost measurements are made with tubes filled with methylene blue solution; on freezing, the methylene blue remains in the liquid phase, yielding clear ice that marks the depth of soil frost (Ricard and others, 1976). Soil frost measurements typically are made 2 to 4 times a month between November [...]


Point of Contact :
Ann T Chalmers
Originator :
Ann T Chalmers, Stewart F Clark, James B Shanley
Metadata Contact :
Ann T Chalmers
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
SDC Data Owner :
New England Water Science Center
USGS Mission Area :
Core Science Systems

Attached Files

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frost metadata.xml
Original FGDC Metadata

133.13 KB application/fgdc+xml
Sleepers frost1983-2020.csv 2.36 MB text/csv
Frost site description.csv 2.09 KB text/csv


A long-term record of soil frost is being collected to evaluate trends in frost depth and duration. Of particular interest are the effects of changing climate on soil frost. Paradoxically, a warming climate may increase the depth and duration of soil frost if it reduces the depth and duration of the insulating snow pack (Brown and DeGaetano, 2011), though model results do not back up this notion (Campbell and others, 2010). Frozen soil affects infiltration and recharge and thus has wide ranging impacts on streamflow, erosion, groundwater levels, and soil moisture (Shanley and Chalmers, 1999; Hardy and others, 2001). Increases in soil frost depth can damage or kill roots and fauna in the biologically active soil zone.



  • USGS Data Release Products
  • USGS New England Water Science Center



Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/P96753GI

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