Soil temperature profile

1.0 hrs
Run online using:
  1. Jupyter
  2. Lab
     Jupyter logo.png

    Gregory Tucker at CIRES, CSDMS, and Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder.

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This lab is useful for visualizing conductive heat flow in soil or rock, as the surface temperature varies. The notebook includes a simple 1D model of temperature evolution in a soil profile, and provides students with guidance on how to run the model and explore parameters.

Classroom organization
Lab is designed for undergraduate students majoring in earth sciences (hydrology, environmental sciences, glaciology, atmosphere and ocean sciences). The notebook is demonstration style and gives participants the possibility to explore interactively.

Learning objectives
  • basic plotting with the Python matplotlib library
Key concepts
  • phase relationship between soil and air temperature
  • temperature diffusion
  • effects of diurnal and seasonal forcing

Lab notes

Students read and run the notebook, adding code of their own at the end to experiment with different parameters.

This lab can be run on the lab (for educators) and jupyter (for general use) instances of the OpenEarthscape JupyterHub: just click one of the links under the Run online using heading at the top of this page, then run the notebook in the "CSDMS" kernel.

If you don't already have a JupyterHub account, follow the instructions to sign up at If you're an educator, you can get JupyterHub accounts for students--please contact us through the CSDMS Help Desk:

If run locally, this lab requires the installtion of the Python packages numpy, matplotlib, and ipython.