Temperature of Soil Around

Bodies of Water

Evelyn Amber Mathews

Mailunhia Lynhiavu

Maria-Rona Malamig

October 31, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

We tested the temperature of soil around bodies of water in ten meter increments. The soil temperature did get cooler as the distance increased away from the body of water. We found that our results were significant; there was an increase in soil temperature closer to the water and the soil temperature decreased as we moved further away from the water.  There was a significant decrease in temperature away from the bodies of water (R2 = 0.8749).

 

Key Words: thermal inertia, temperature, distance, soil

 

Introduction

In any biological system, it is very important to study the effect of changes in the temperature for physiological growth of every organism in the environment (Happey, 1970). Species of all kinds flock to bodies of water for many resources, and change in temperature could influence both water species and land (Agersborg, 1930). When observing a water body it is noticeable that vegetation is more abundant as compared to vegetation further away from the water body. Variations in water temperatures are also essential in studying soil and sediment around the water body. Also, variation in water temperature creates thermal inertia and can change the soil and air temperature (Mendenhall and Mason, 1923). This can directly relate to heat transfer from water to soil or other medium. As long as the temperature stays the same with the help of thermal inertia no extensive destruction seemingly takes place (Agersborg, 1930). Therefore thermal inertia helps regulate surrounding soil which will lead to higher productivity level. Given the above information this experiment was designed to determine the relationship of water temperature and the raising of temperature of air and soil around a water body. We hypothesize that the closer to a body of water the higher the temperature of the soil and other medium around it, due to thermal inertia.

 

Materials and Methods

Beginning on September 28th, 2006 until October 23, 2006, we started to collect our data from eight haphazardly selected samples of water locations. These locations were all located within the Milwaukee County in Wisconsin. The samples were taken at 0 meters and increased by increments of 10 meters all the way to 50 meters. The location names are Alverno Pond, Jackson Park Pond, Shardae’s Pond, Josh’s Pond, Humboldt Park Pond, Brown Deer Park Pond, Northridge Lake and Scout Lake Park Pond (for pictures and addresses; see Appendix A).

            A Keson 50 meter Model OTR graduated metric reel was used measure out the 10 meter increments from the water. We started at 0 meters which was right next to the water line that meets the soil. Then we measured out 10 meters from the 0 meters point repeating this step until the 50 meters point. A ground thermometer was used to measure the temperature in degrees Celsius. The thermometer was submerged into the soil and left there for ten minutes in order to get accurate readings. The location of the soil was selected on ability of the thermometer to submerge in to the soil. Each temperature taken was from the western side of the water body.

 

Results:

Our hypothesis was supported in the data that was collected. There was a significant decrease in temperature away from the bodies of water (Fig. 1. R2 = 0.8749). This is sufficient value to support our hypothesis, however we realize that it could be better and this is later addressed in our discussion.

Meters

Shardae's Pond Temperature

Scout Lake Park Pond Temperature

0

11

7.5

10

11

8.5

20

10.5

5

30

8

4.5

40

7

4.5

50

7

4

Meters

Brown Deer Rd. Pond

Humboldt Park

0

5

3

10

5

5

20

7

5

30

8

5

40

8

3

50

8

3

Meters

Josh's Pond Temperature

Brown Deer Park

0

12

7

10

11

8

20

10.5

5

30

8

8

40

8

7

50

6.5

7

Meters

Jackson Park Pond

Alverno Pond

0

8

0

10

5

2

20

6

3

30

4

5

40

4

5

50

4

5

Meters

Average

 

0

9.25

 

10

9.75

 

20

7.75

 

30

6.25

 

40

5.75

 

50

5.5

 

 

Figure 1: The average temperature at ten meter increments.

 

Discussion

In this experiment our hypothesis was that the further away from a body of water the cooler the temperature will be due to thermal inertia was supported. The R2 value was not the best that it could be, and there could be many reasons for this. It may be due to the locations and time of day that temperatures were taken from. In some areas there was shade from the canopy of trees. Also, since we are in the fall season there were days when there were clouds casting over the sun. Cloud cover causes less heat to be given off by the sun, therefore lowering the temperature in different areas (Eagleson, 2000). Temperature readings taken from Humboldt Park Pond and Brown Deer Pond may have been compromised because on that day winds were about 24.8 kmph according to the National Weather Service the air temperature was about 7.2oC and it was raining. Temperature readings at Brown Deer Pond may have been altered as well because on that day winds were about 12.3 mph according to the National Weather Service the air temperature was about 5.5oC, and it was raining. The Northridge Lake was similar to the other two locations above, the temperature that day was about 6.3oC and the wind speed was about 26.7 kmph (National Weather Service, 2006). The combination of rain and high winds can lower air and water temperature due to the stirring up of water, bringing the cooler water from the bottom to the top. Therefore the area around the water will be cooler (Agersborg, 1930). On the other hand temperatures taken at Jackson Park Pond, Scout Lake, Josh’s Pond, Shardae’s Pond and Alverno Pond were during better conditions due to the fact that it was sunny, the average temperature was 12.7oC and the average wind speed was about 18 kmph (National Weather Service, 2006). The sun’s heat waves raise temperatures of water, therefore raising the temperature of the area around the water due to thermal inertia (Agersborg, 1930).

For this experiment there are a few things that we would do differently, first we would increase the meters from 10 meter increments to 20 meters. Also next time picking locations we would make sure to find flatter landscape; this would control the thermal inertia better because as one goes higher the cooler the temperature gets. Another factor that could be taken into account when doing this experiment is to make sure temperatures are not taken around shaded areas. To further this experiment maybe next time we could correlate the soil temperature around the water bodies with the abundance in vegetation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix A

Scout Lake

5902 W. Loomis Rd.

Milwaukee WI, 53221

 

Josh’s Pond (Manmade Pond)

4415 W. 6 ˝ Mile Rd.

Caledonia WI, 53108

 

Shardae’s Pond (Manmade Pond)

4415 W. 6 ˝ Mile Rd.

Caledonia WI, 53108

 

 

Humboldt Park Pond

3000 S. Howell Ave

Milwaukee WI, 53207

 

 

Alverno College Pond

3400 S. 43rd St.

Milwaukee WI, 53219

 

 

Brown Deer Park Pond

1870 E. Fox Lane

Brown Deer WI, 53209

 

 

Northridge Lake

7979 W Glenbrook Rd,

Milwaukee WI, 53223

 

Jackson Park Pond

3500 W Forest Home Ave

Milwaukee WI, 53215

 

 

 

 

Resources:

 

 

Agersborg, H. (1930). The Influence of Temperature of Fish. Ecology, Vol. 11(1), 136-144. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from the JSTOR database.

 

Eagleson, P. (2000). The Role of Water in Climate. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 144(1), 33-38. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from the JSTOR database.

 

Happey, C.M. (1970). Some physico-chemical investigation of stratification in Abbot’s Pool, Somerset: the temperature cycle. The Journal of Ecology, Vol. 58(2), 419-434. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from the JSTOR database.

 

Mendenhall, C.E., Mason, M. (1923). The stratified subsidence of fine particles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 9(6), 199-202. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from the JSTOR database.

 

 National Average Wind Speed (2006) Wind Average Speed – MPH. Retrieved October 20, 2006,  from the World Wide Web: http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/windavg.html

 

National Weather Service (2006)  Milwaukee Average Temperature – Daily. Retrieved October 20, 2006,  from the World Wide Web:  http://nationalweatherservice.com/