2700 m Flux Tower, Short Hair Creek

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The Short Hair Creek flux tower is set in the subalpine belt of the Sierra Nevada. Due to harsh winter conditions and a falling tree, the flux tower was down from 2011-2014. A replacement tower was brought in by helicopter and raised by a team in August 2014. Instruments were reinstalled June 2015.

2700 - m   Elev

1078 mm   Precip

Parent Field Area:
Flux Towers Transect ▲


igneous-felsic intrusive

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Setting & Research
Dynamic Map
  • Setting & Research

    Information being added when possible.

    The Shorthair Creek is in the subalpine belt of the Sierra Nevada, near Courtright Reservoir in Fresno County. The vegetation community at Short Hair Creek is largely Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) and Western White Pine (Pinus monticola). Elevation of the tower is 2703 m. Mean minimum T is -1.9ºC, mean maximum temperature is 10.2ºC. Mean annual precipitation is 1078 mm year-1. (information from Goulden et al., 2012).

    Panorama of Short Hair Creek tower site. July 2014.

    A full size image is available at the digital library.

     For additional information, see Goulden et al., 2012.

    This flux tower is part of a larger transect: SJER (405 m); Soaproot Saddle (1160 m); P301 (2015 m); Short Hair Creek (2700 m)

    Panorama of Short Hair Creek tower site. July 2014.

    A full size image is available at the digital library.

  • Dynamic Map

    To fully zoom into a small area, you may need to visit the "Map" button and uncheck "Terrain" view.

  • Data

    Flux Tower Transect, Short Hair Creek - Flux Tower, Meteorology (2009-2016)
    7 components    2700 m Flux Tower, Short Hair Creek    Climatology / Meteorology, Biology / Ecology    Mike Goulden, Anne Kelly

  • Photos

    SSCZO - Flux Towers

    An eddy covariance flux tower is located near the top of the P301 watershed. Instruments collect data on temperature, relative humidity, and fluxes of carbon dioxide and water vapor to determine the physiological responses of the site (for example, how photosynthesis increases with light) and summed over a year to determine the carbon balance of a site (how much carbon it is gaining or losing). Three other flux towers have been instrumented at different elevations with the Sierras including the San Joaquin River, Soaproot, and Short Hair Creek.

    This west-east transect spans elevation gradient from 400 m to 2700 m. The change in elevation is accompanied by a slight increase in precipitation, but the main change is a shift from rain-dominated precipitation to snow-dominated precipitation. The climatic shift plays out in other ways as well. At lower elevations, high temperatures and low water availability limit evapotranspiration by vegetation. Meanwhile, forest activity (evapotranspiration) at higher elevations is limited by cold winter temperatures. There is a sweet spot at middle elevations of yera-round evapotranspiration and forest activity.

    Photo galleries of each flux tower are available: San Joaquin Experimental Range;  Soaproot SaddleProvidence subcatchment P301; and Short Hair Creek.

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  • Geology

    • igneous-felsic intrusive

    Short Hair Creek, 2700 m elevation
    Quad: Blackcap Mountain

    This site was glaciated in the Pleistocene (Gillespie and Zehfuss 2004) and is situated on glacial till. The bedrock immediately below the tower is of unknown composition. However, two different bedrock units are exposed within 500 m of the tower (Bateman 1965).

    Aplite and felsic quartz monzonite dikes (Kap)
    Dinkey Creek Granodiorite (Kdc, formerly Granodiorite of Dinkey Creek, same as P301)
    “Medium-grained, generally strongly foliated. Contains abundant disc-shaped mafic inclusions and mafic clots composed of hornblende, biotite, sphene, plagioclase, and opaque minerals. Intrudes the quartz diorite of Blue Canyon. Age by Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron 110 +/- 11 m.y.” (Bateman and Wones 1972). The mafic inclusions are “as much as 30 cm long and 5 cm thick. The mafic minerals are intergrown, and individual grains are anhedral” (Bateman 1992).

    For more detail on the other flux towers, refer to each page:

    SJER, 400 m elevation
    Quad: Millerton Lake
    Ward Mountain Trondhjemite (Kw) (formerly Leucotonalite of Ward Mountain)

    Soaproot Saddle, 1100 m elevation
    Quad: Shaver Lake
    Bass Lake Tonalite (Kbl, formerly Tonalite of Blue Canyon)

    P301, 2000 m elevation
    Quad: Huntington Lake
    Dinkey Creek Granodiorite (Kdc, formerly Granodiorite of Dinkey Creek)