SNOTEL site sampling procedures

Conifer forests adjacent to SNOTEL sites are visited in the summer for extensive belowground (and aboveground) carbon stock sampling. Equipment lists and sample collection procedures are detailed below.

Site selection

Mature conifer forests with minimal evidence of fire, harvest, or other disturbances are selected for soil and aboveground carbon stock sampling. These forests must be within a 1 km radius and 100m elevational distance of the SNOTEL site. SNOTEL sites are selected to represent some aspect of the climatic, topographical, and snowpack variability present in forests of the western U.S. More info on site selection can be found ???

SNOTEL soil survey supply list for each site visited

  • GPS
  • Camera
  • 15cm^2^quadrat
  • Soil knife
  • Spatula or trowel
  • DBH tape
  • Plot Meter tape
  • Compass and inclinometer
  • Tent stake
  • Tree corer and core tin (or envelopes)
  • Small soil corer
  • Pruners
  • Rubber mallet
  • Shovel
  • 6 soil tins (when intact cores are not being collected)
  • 15 paper lunch bags
  • 7 paper grocery bags

Optional equipment

  • 3 soil gas cans & sampling tubes
  • 2x4 block?
  • Soil corer?
  • 15 4" core liners and caps (2 each)

Samples to be collected

FIXME --- this is in need of an update.

  • 3 litter bags - 1 per plot, each is bulk of 5, 15x15cm samples
  • This sample includes all surface leaf litter and any surface fine (<5cm) CWD within the quadrat.
  • 15 O-horizon samples - 5 per plot, 15 or 7.5 sq cm, depending on depth
  • These are cut out of the organic layer with a knife, roots and CWD are clipped out and
  • 3 mineral soil (to 10cm) bags - 1 per plot, each is bulk of 5, 10cm samples
  • 3 soil gas samples
  • 6 bulk density tins OR
  • 3-5 intact core sets, collected to at least 10cm depth from first mineral horizon.
  • 10 tree cores - 1 each from plots (largest tree) and 7 more from mature trees in stand.