Environmental differences in tropical soil temperatures in Kenya

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Mines & Earth Sciences
Department Geology & Geophysics
Author Mace, William Davis
Title Environmental differences in tropical soil temperatures in Kenya
Date 2012-12
Description Environmental temperature differences within tropical soils are a function of the total solar radiation received at the surface, and also depend on woody vegetation cover. Environmental soil temperature is recorded by carbon isotope substitutions during the formation of calcite, which is preserved in paleosols. Therefore, analysis of preserved carbonates can be used as a proxy indicator of paleotemperatures. Preliminary data from hominid sites in the Turkana Basin show that soil temperatures have been in excess of 30°C for much of the past 4-6 million years in that region. In this study two years of continual subsurface soil monitoring were conducted at 28 sites within and around Kenyan National Parks and we present annual and seasonal averages of soil temperatures at a depth of 25 cm within different microclimates, which should approximate the absolute formation temperature of soil carbonates in present day tropical soils. In addition, we use an iterative method to solve the heat diffusion equation to estimate the soil surface temperature. In the tropics, where the solar angle is high throughout the year, observed environmental temperature differences over small spatial distances are as high as 30°C in the most extreme contrasts between grassland and forested microclimates. Average soil temperatures at 25 cm depth are highest in the Turkana basin where annual and seasonal averages are in excess of 30°C. These results are consistent with the paleotemperature measurements, indicating that temperatures are as hot today as they have been over the past several million years.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Climate; Kenya; Lake Turkana; Modeling; Soil Temperature;Turkana; Geology; Climate Change; Soil sciences
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management (c) William Davis Mace
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,972,361 bytes
ARK ark:/87278/s6c541q0
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-01-03
Date Modified 2020-03-31
ID 195771
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6c541q0
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