1160 m Flux Tower, Soaproot Saddle

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The flux tower at the Soaproot Saddle site is located within Ponderosa Pine forest at 1160 meters in elevation, with 805 mm of precipitation per year.

805 mm   Precip

Parent Field Area:
Flux Towers Transect ▲


igneous-felsic intrusive

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Setting & Research
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  • Setting & Research

    to be added

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

    The vegetation community is a mix of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) with oak (Quercus kelloggii).

    Quercus kelloggii

    Mean minimum T is 5.5ºC, Mean maximum temperature is 18.0ºC. Mean annual precipitation is 805 mm year-1. (information from Goulden et al., 2012).

    Panorama of Soaproot Saddle. July 2014.

    A full size image is available at the digital library.

    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 Soaproot Saddle. July 2014.

    A full size image is available at the digital library.

    Quercus kelloggii

  • 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, Soaproot Saddle - Flux Tower, Meteorology (2009-2016)
    7 components    1160 m Flux Tower, Soaproot Saddle    Biology / Ecology, Climatology / Meteorology    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.

    SSCZO - Instruments

    Hundreds of instruments and sensors have been deployed in the primary SSCZO research site of the Providence Creek watershed as well as in Wolverton basin.  Additional SSCZO flux towers and instruments have also been installed at the San Joaquin Experimental Range, Soaproot Saddle, and Short Hair Creek.

    Explore more photos of the intstuments and sensors used by SSCZO.

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  • Geology

    • igneous-felsic intrusive

    Soaproot Saddle, 1100 m elevation
    Quad: Shaver Lake

    Bass Lake Tonalite (Kbl, formerly Tonalite of Blue Canyon)

    “Medium-grained biotite-hornblende tonalite facies characterized by large euhedral hornblende prisms” (Lockwood and Bateman 1976). “Typical Bass Lake Tonalite is medium-gray, medium-grained, equigranular tonalite with a conspicuous foliation that is shown both by the preferred orientation of minerals, chiefly hornblended and biotite, and by crudely lens-shaped mafic inclusions… The color index … for most samples is 10 to 30” (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)

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

    Short Hair Creek, 2700 m elevation
    Quad: Blackcap Mountain
    Aplite and felsic quartz monzonite dikes (Kap)
    Granodiorite of Dinkey Creek (Kdc, see description for P301)