How Deep Is The Frost Line In Wisconsin?
The average temperature in Wisconsin during winter months ranges from -7°F (-26°C) to 2°F (1.2°C). During summer months, the average temperature ranges from 70°F (21°C) to 90°F (32°C).
The frost line is the point where the freezing point of water reaches its maximum value. Water freezes at 0°F (0°C), but it will remain liquid until the temperature drops below 32°F (0°C). When it comes to frost line, there are several factors that affect its location. The depth of the frost line is influenced by the soil composition, vegetation cover, and proximity to a lake or river.
The frost line can reach between 100 to 200 feet deep in southern Wisconsin. The main factors that affect the frost line are:
Soil type: The types of soil found in a specific location will play a huge role in defining the frost line. Different types of soil have different freezing and heating properties. The depth of the frost line in Wisconsin can range from 20 to 70 feet, depending upon the soil type that’s found in a specific location.
Soil Temperature: It is the mean annual soil temperature that will play a huge role in determining the frost line. The mean annual soil temperature can range from less than 40°F to greater than 70°F.
Soil Moisture: The frost line is influenced by soil moisture. The soil moisture that is found close to the surface will act as a protector from freezing temperatures. If the soil is dry, the frost line can extend further down to greater depths.
Vegetation: The vegetation in a specific location will influence the frost line because plants take in heat and energy from the sun. This allows them to remain unfrozen, even when the temperature around them drops below 32°F.
Proximity to water bodies: The frost line is also influenced by the proximity to a large body of water. The energy absorbed by water can keep the temperature just a few degrees higher than the air temperature.
The frost line increases in depth during winter months and decreases in summer months. The frost line in southern Wisconsin reaches up to 100 feet during winter. The frost line slowly decreases as you move towards northern Wisconsin, where it can reach depths of only 40 feet.
The frost line in the western part of the state is less than that of eastern part. The soil in the western part tends to be dry and loose. This allows heat to escape quicker, causing the frost line to reach a greater depth.
The frost line is shallow in the valleys and ravines, and it’s also shallower near the edges of water bodies. The frost line in a specific area can increase or decrease by several feet within a span of a single year. This can be due to several factors such as:
• Soil moisture
• Soil temperature
The frost line is affected by several factors, all of which are dependent on the area where you live. While some of these factors can be predicted with ease, others can’t be predicted at all. All you know is that when winter comes around, the frost line reaches depths that are unimaginable.
The average annual temperature in Wisconsin ranges between 31°F and 49°F. The average temperature in winter is -4.5°F and the average temperature in summer is 72.6°F.
The average low for January in Wisconsin is between 7°F and 16°F. The average high for July is between 65°F and 80°F.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was -55°F, while the highest was 118°F.
The average annual precipitation in the state is between 35 and 45 inches. The state also receives an average of 5 hours of sunshine a day.
The state experiences snowfall in all months of the year. The average snowfall in a year is between 40 and 50 inches. Wisconsin also receives an average of 5 days of blizzard conditions in a year.
The state experiences t-storms in all months of the year. The average number of days with severe t-storms conditions in a year is between 15 and 20.
Thunderstorms in the state are accompanied by strong winds that can reach speeds of up to 74 mph. These storms can also cause wildfires that can spread rapidly and be difficult to control.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare to the state. The last time Wisconsin was hit by such a storm was in 1875.
The average annual number of tornadoes in the state is between 20 and 25.
The average annual number of Category 1 hurricanes that hit within 500 miles of the state is between 0 and 2.
The average annual number of Category 2-5 hurricanes that hit within 500 miles of the state is between 0 and 1.
These numbers increase when the storm approaches the nearby coasts of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Storms that occur in these regions are usually fiercer and deadlier than most other storms of similar catagories.
The average water temperature in inland lakes and rivers in Wisconsin range between 40°F and 65°F. Water temperature near the coasts of the Great Lakes and Lake Superior range between 40°F and 70°F.
The average water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean ranges between 40°F and 70°F.
The average water temperature in the Pacific Ocean ranges between 40°F and 70°F.
The average water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico ranges between 75°F and 95°F.
Water is an essential for all known forms of life. Life in water is diverse, and the best studied forms are tidal creatures and ocean life, but there are many other groups that have been studied much less. The most basic forms of life include single-celled organisms like bacteria and archaea, which are found in every environment on earth and are the bases of all food chains.
Some of these creatures have been found within the cracks of underwater rocks all the way to the bottom of the deepest points in the ocean, which are capable of withstanding pressures up to 882 kg/cm2, or roughly 8 times that of the average man’s weight. Other microscopic organisms are capable of surviving even harsher conditions.
Algae are a diverse group of organisms that are capable of performing photosynthesis, just like land plants do, and are an essential part of all aquatic food chains.
Plants can also be divided into two subgroups: The first is the single-celled species, such as the protozoa, bacteria and algae; these are incapable of moving and need organic material from elsewhere to survive. The second subgroup is the multicellular species, such as seaweed and sea grasses.
Organisms that are unable to synthesize their own food from the environment they live in need to feed either on plants or other organisms. These organisms are known as primary consumers. They in turn are eaten by other animals, which are known as secondary consumers.
Decomposers break down dead organisms and waste material. Some of these organisms also feed on living tissue, and are said to be parasites. All of these roles are important to the lifecycle of other organisms, and without one of them the food chain would break down.
Algae and other aquatic plants are an essential part of the aquatic food chain. They are eaten by primary consumers such as protozoa and small invertebrates. In turn, these are eaten by secondary consumers such as fish and water snails.
Seaweed can be eaten by fish and snails directly, or it can be eaten by sea urchins and starfish. Some sea weeds are poisonous to most sea creatures.
Carnivorous plants live on land, but still rely on the water for their lifeforce. They trap insects and small invertebrates in specialized leaves and digest them with the help of fungi, which release enzymes that break down the prey. These plants are eaten by animals such as insects, snails and rodents.
Aquatic plants and the animals that feed on them do not produce enough nutrients for large animals such as humans to thrive on, but they are an important part of the food chain.
In the open ocean, food is scarce and large animals need to migrate to find enough food to sustain them. Fish such as the Atlantic Cod and Haddock feed on smaller fish, squid, shrimp and krill.
Small fish such as these are eaten by larger ones, such as the Blue Shark. In some cases, such as with the Blue Marlin, they are also hunted by humans for food.
Whales are large sea mammals that eat small fish, krill and plankton. Like humans, they have few natural predators, but it is possible to hunt them.
The main predators of large fish and whales are sharks. The Great White Shark is one of the most feared animals in the oceans. It can grow up to 6 metres long and has hundreds of teeth arranged in rows to slice through its prey.
The Brown Bear is a large mammal that eats berries, plants, small mammals and fish. It can be found in the forests of North America and Europe.
Animals that live on land are significantly different from those in the sea. There is a far greater range of sizes, behaviours and habitats, but only a few are large enough to hunt and eat humans.
The African Lion lives in the savannah of Africa and eats herbivores such as zebras and wildebeests. Occasionally, it hunts humans.
The Siberian Tiger lives in the Siberian wilderness and preys upon elk, deer, wild pigs and other large mammals. It occasionally eats humans.
The Australian Saltwater Crocodile lives in the mangrove swamps of Australia and preys upon fish, birds, turtles, other crocodiles and…
food chains (6) Prey (10) Carnivores (12) omnivores (7) Herbivores (8) Decaying plant matter (9) Decomposers (5) Waste and excreta (4)
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This table was created by Sean, and you can read about it’s creation here.
This chart was recently updated: marine animals added, 3D rotatable version created and links to each image added.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Frost penetration into soils as influenced by depth of snow, vegetative cover, and air temperatures (CE Bay, GW Wunnecke, OE Hays – Eos, Transactions …, 1952 – Wiley Online Library)
- Frost Depth Survey: A New Approach in Wisconsin (AE Peterson, MW Burley, CD Caparoon – Weatherwise, 1963 – Taylor & Francis)
- Pigment ratios and phytoplankton assessment in northern Wisconsin lakes (…, DJ Mackey, JP Hurley, TM Frost – Journal of …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library)
- A simple heat‐conduction method for simulating the frost‐table depth in hydrological models (M Hayashi, N Goeller, WL Quinton… – … An International Journal, 2007 – Wiley Online Library)