Pete Biggam1, Sharon W. Waltman2, Aaron Burkholder3, Keith L. Eggleston4, Drew Waltman5, Tom D'Avello2, Robert R. Dobos6, James A. Thompson3 and William Waltman3, (1)National Park Service, U.S. Dept of the Interior, Lakewood, CO (2)Geospatial Research Unit, USDA NRCS, Morgantown, WV (3)Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (4)Northeast Regional Climate Center, Ithaca, NY (5)Office of Information Technology, Morgantown, WV (6)Soil Survey Interpretations, National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, NE
The JAVA version of the Newhall Simulation Model (jNSM; USDA/NRCS, 2011) was used to derive soil climate regimes from long and short-term weather station records at National Parks and nearby cooperative network weather station sites. The project relied upon monthly climate records from CLIMOD (Northeast Regional Climate Center), Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN; USDA/NRCS), and the Historical Climatology Network (HCN; NCDC/ORNL, Menne et al., 2012) sources. Soil climate regimes are a key component of Soil Taxonomy and the classification of soils, but the regimes have been largely treated as static parameters in the soil survey process and resulting published soil geographic databases. With ecosystem services, management, and monitoring as major responsibilities for the National Park Service, we are developing a new approach to derive soil climate metrics that can support the mapping and soil survey process. These metrics can be used to map: 1) equivalent soil climate environments, soil climosequences, and potential refugia, 2) identify unique soil microclimates, 3) construct drought histories, 4) quantify soil climate regime boundaries and their oscillation zones, and 5) evaluate the applicability of soil climate regime trends within parks and related soil landscapes to the NPS Vital Signs Monitoring programs. Our research explores the soil climate parameters and thresholds in defining “near-perudic” and perudic environments, as well as rainshadow effects. Soil biological windows and water balances, which are subcalculations of the soil moisture and temperature regimes in the jNSM were compared between National Park locations and across major land resource areas. This approach will be developed as a supporting methodology for updating soil surveys of New River Gorge Scenic River, Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.