Scientists sample soil in the Smokies

Dec 05, 2005

Scientists say they plan a soil study in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park next spring to determine levels of nutrient loss and acid accumulation.

The researchers say they will take soil samples from four sites above 4,000 feet, where acid rain and polluted cloud water cause some of the worst acid deposition problems in the Smokies.

The study -- funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation -- will target sites examined by the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1980s. The results will enable scientists to determine how the soils have changed.

"We have been studying the effects of acid deposition on streams, and now we're looking at soils," said Michael Jenkins, forest ecologist at the park's headquarters in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Scientists will dig to bedrock at four high-elevation sites located on the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of the 500,000-acre park.

Jenkins said that top layer of soil contains more organisms than anywhere in the forest.

"Changes in the soil chemistry have a cascading effect that impacts the plants and trees -- and ultimately the animals that rely on them," Jenkins said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Orion heat shield analysis work nears conclusion at NASA's Marshall Center

Related Stories

Family legacy examined for soil viability

May 20, 2015

More than 20 years after her family planted blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus) on their Great Southern property UWA Masters student Sylvia Leighton is trying to determine what effect the trees have had on the ...

Microbial soil cleanup at Fukushima

Mar 10, 2015

Proteins from salt-loving, halophilic, microbes could be the key to cleaning up leaked radioactive strontium and caesium ions from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Japan. The publication ...

Recommended for you

How comets were assembled

1 hour ago

Rosetta's target "Chury" and other comets observed by space missions show common evidence of layered structures and bi-lobed shapes. With 3D computer simulations Martin Jutzi of PlanetS at the University ...

Dawn spirals closer to Ceres, returns a new view

13 hours ago

A new view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 23, shows finer detail is becoming visible on the dwarf planet. The spacecraft snapped the image at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) ...

NASA telescopes set limits on space-time quantum 'foam'

18 hours ago

A team of scientists has used X-ray and gamma-ray observations of some of the most distant objects in the universe to better understand the nature of space and time. Their results set limits on the quantum ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.