Significance of Transients in Soil Temperature Series
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the impact of observation scale on the estimation of soil thermal properties. Transients are usually filtered out and ignored when classical Fourier approaches are used to deconstruct and model temperature time series. It was hypothesized that examination of such transients may be more important in identifying and quantifying short-term perturbations in internal soil heat transfer induced by agronomic disturbances. Data-logged temperatures were collected at 10-minute intervals from thermistor probes installed at 10 and 25 cm depths in isolated areas of two grassed plots. One plot (6T) had been treated twice with 6 Mg ha−1 composted turkey litter as received. The other plot (NPK) was fertilized at the same time with NPK fertilizer. Various methods were used to analyze the series to obtain apparent soil thermal diffusivity (D-value) at various time scales. Results supported the hypothesis that short-term differences in internal soil heat transfer between the 6T and NPK plots were more manifest and effectively captured by estimated D-values calculated from the monthly and daily partial series. The 6T plot had higher soil organic matter content than the NPK plot and had lower apparent soil thermal diffusivity. Diurnal soil temperature amplitudes, required to calculate the mean D-values from partial series, were more effectively obtained using a temperature change rate method. The more commonly used Fourier analysis tended to be effective for this purpose when the partial series reasonably presented well-defined diurnal patterns of increasing and decreasing temperatures.