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Two stations were installed at Northstar in the fall of 2015. The land is managed by Pitkin County, and two companion stations are located near each other: one in a stand of aspen trees and the other in a transition zone between a fen and a meadow. The area is considered of special interest as there is curiosity as to whether the ecosystems adjacent to the nearby riparian zone may be drying out over time. The stations are at an elevation of roughly 8,050 feet (2,450m). One station is located on a level area within a stand of aspens, east of the nearest slope. The second station is located in a transition zone between a wetland and meadow of mixed grasses. The transition zone station had very different soil types at different depths, becoming progressively more sandy and lighter in color with an increase in depth. Both stations are powered by a solar panel and measures soil temperature at 8 inches, and soil moisture at 2, 8, and 20 inch (5, 20, and 51cm) depths. The aspen station additionally measures rain, air temperature, and relative humidity. The transition zone station is also equipped to measure snow depth. This portion of the Northstar Preserve is closed to public access to help protect wildlife and conserve the natural habitat. In respect of this ethic, site visits to this location are attempted to be kept to a minimum.
Northstar Aspen Grove:
Soil at a Glance: Clay Loam | 16.6% organic matter | 5.0 ppm NO3 | 20.5 ppm P | pH 6.9 Measurements: Air Temperature | Relative Humidity | Rain | Soil Moisture at 2, 8, and 20in (5, 20, and 51cm) | Soil Temperature at 8in (20cm)
Live data are collected every 20 minutes and transmitted every four hours. These data have not been checked for anomalies or potential false readings and soil moisture has not been calibrated. Archived data have been cleaned and calibrated, but rain readings should not be considered accurate when temperatures are below freezing.
Soil at a Glance Clay Loam | 10.8% organic matter | 3.1 ppm NO3 | 11.2 ppm P | pH 7.3 Measurements: Snow Depth | Soil Moisture at 2, 8, and 20in (5, 20, and 51cm) | Soil Temperature at 8in (20cm).
Live data are collected every 20 minutes and transmitted every four hours and can be found by clicking the buttons above. These data have not been checked for anomalies or potential false readings and soil moisture has not been calibrated. Archived data have been cleaned and calibrated, but rain readings should not be considered accurate when temperatures are below freezing. The snow depth sensor is only accurate to a tenth of an inch (one decimal place). Graphs of pervious data can be found on the data dashboard.
The Northstar station is managed by AGCI with funding from the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails.
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