Skip to main content

Soil Temperature of Steppe Landscapes in the South of Eastern Siberia and Its Response to Climate Change


Soil temperature is an important indicator of climate resources. It characterizes the contemporary functioning of steppe landscapes. The strongest wintery cooling of the entire 3.2-m-thick soil profile is typical for southern Transbaikalia, where seasonal freezing is deep (more than 3 m) and durable. Steppe soils in the south of the Central Siberian Plateau, where seasonal freezing depth varies from 1 to 2.6 m, cool more slightly. The summer warming of soils is almost uniform over the entire study area. Our analysis of the soil temperature amplitude has shown a wider range of its values in Transbaikalia as compared to the south of the Central Siberian Plateau. Amplitude decreases with depth. Its values testify to the smaller continentality of the soil climate in steppe landscapes at the edge of the Central Siberian Plateau relative to southern Transbaikalia. The soil temperature reaction to climate dynamics is analyzed in steps, where series of climate parameters (air temperature, total atmospheric precipitations, and soil temperature at a depth of 40 cm in January and July) are available at meteorological stations for the period of 1985–2020. Means, trends, and correlations of these parameters are calculated. A summer rise in soil temperature following the increase in air temperature is observed at all stations in recent decades. The trend values at some of the meteorological stations reach 0.7–1.5°С per 10-year period. Correlations between the dynamics of summer soil temperatures at the specified meteorological stations are rather high (0.5–0.8). The tendencies and dynamics of winter temperatures are more variable. The nonuniform snow cover of the area contributes to factors affecting the winter temperature regime.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.


  1. Chibilev, A.A., Stepnaya Evraziya: regional’nyi obzor prirodnogo raznoobraziya (Steppe Eurasia: A Regional Survey of Natural Diversity), Moscow; Orenburg: Inst. Stepi Ural. Otdel. Ross. Akad. Nauk; Russ. Geogr. O-vo, 2017.

  2. Boldanov, T.A. and Mukhin, G.D., Climatic changes in the Republic of Buryatia at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st centuries and environmental risks of land use, Probl. Reg. Ekol., 2016, no. 6, pp. 94–100.

  3. Vakhnina, I.L. and Noskova, E.V., Changes in the climatic conditions of South-Eastern Transbaikalia during the growing season according to meteorological and dendrochronological data, Gidrometeorol. Issled. I Prognozy, 2021, no. 3 (381), pp. 80–98.

  4. Bazhenova, O.I., Sovremennaya denudatsiya predgornykh stepnykh ravnin Sibiri (Modern Denudation of Foothill Steppe Plains of Siberia), Novosibirsk: Geo, 2018.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Chytry, M., Horsak, M., Danihelka, J., Ermakov, N., German, D.A., Hajek, M., Hajkova, P., Koci, M., Kubesova, S., Lustyk, P., Nekola, J.C., Pavelkova Ricankova, V., Preislerova, Z., Resl, P., and Valachovic, M., A modern analogue of the Pleistocene steppe–tundra ecosystem in southern Siberia, Boreas, 2018, vol. 48, pp. 36–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Vakhnina, I.L., Taynik, F.B., Sidorova, M.O., and Noskova, E.V., Construction of a long (571-year) precepitation sensetive tree-ring chronology for the steppe zone of transbaikalia, Int. Multidiscipl. Sci. Geoconf. Surveying Geol. and Mining Ecol. Management, SGEM, 2019, vol. 19, no. 3.2, pp. 739–744.

  7. Jia, X., Xie, B., Shao, M., and Zhao, C., Primary productivity and precipitation-use efficiency in temperate grassland in the loess plateau of China, PLoS ONE, 2015, vol. 10, no. 8, p. e0135490.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Atlas Zabaikal’ya (Buryatskaya ASSR i Chitinskaya oblast’) (Atlas of Transbaikalia (Buryat ASSR and Chita oblast) Sochava, V.B, Ed., Moscow; Irkutsk: Glavn. Upravl. Geodezii I Kartografii SSSR, 1967.

  9. Atlas Irkutskoi oblasti (Atlas of the Irkutsk oblast), Moscow; Irkutsk: Glavn. Upravl. Geodezii I Kartografii SSSR, 1962.

  10. Atlas Respubliki Buryatiya (Atlas of the Republic of Buryatia), Moscow: Fed. Sluzhba Geodezii I Kartografii Rossii, 2000.

  11. Kolesnichenko, V.T., Ufimtseva, K.A., Kuz’min, V.A., et al., Pochvennaya karta Irkutskoi oblasti. M-b 1 : 1 500 000 (Soil Map of the Irkutsk Oblast. Scale 1 : 1 500 000), Moscow: Glavn. Upravl. Geodezii I Kartografii SSSR, 1988.

  12. Mikheev, V.S. and Ryashin, V.A., Landshafty yuga Vostochnoi Sibiri. Karta. M-b 1 : 1 500 000 (Landscapes of the South of Eastern Siberia. Map. Scale 1 : 1 500 000), Moscow: Glavn. Upravl. Geodezii I Kartografii SSSR, 1977.

  13. Stochkute, Yu.V. and Vasilevskaya, L.N., Long-term changes in air and soil temperature in the extreme north-east of Russia, Geogr. Vestn., 2016, no. 2 (37), pp. 84–96.

  14. Khoshhal Jahromi, F., Sabziparvar, A.A., and Mahmoudvand, R., Spectral analysis of soil temperature and their coincidence with air temperature in Iran, Envir. Monitoring and Assessment, 2021, no. 193, p. 72.

  15. Xie, X., Lu, Y., Ren, T., and Horton, R., Soil temperature estimation with the harmonic method is affected by thermal diffusivity parameterization, Geoderma, 2019, no. 353, pp. 97–103.

  16. Fedorov-Davydov, D.G., Davydov, S.P., Davydova, A.I., Ostroumov, V.E., Kholodov, A.L., Sorokovikov, V.A., and Shmelev, D.G., Temperature regime of soils in Northern Yakutia, Kriosfera Zemli, 2018, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 15–24.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ekologicheskii atlas basseina ozera Baikal (Ecological Atlas of the Baikal Basin), Irkutsk: Inst. Geogr. im. V.B. Sochavy, Sib. Otdel. Ross. Akad. Nauk, 2015.

  18. Gadzhiev, I.M., Korolyuk, A.Yu., Titlyanova, A.A., et al., Stepi Tsentral’noi Azii (Steppes of Central Asia), Novosibirsk: Sib. Otdel. Ross. Akad. Nauk, 2002.

  19. Dambiev, E.Ts., Stepnye landshafty Buryatii (Steppe Landscapes of Buryatia), Ulan-Ude, Buryat. Gos. Univ., 2000.

  20. Meteorologicheskii ezhemesyachnik (1978–1989 gg.) (Meteorological Monthly (1978–1989)), Novosibirsk, no. 22, pt. 2; Chita, no. 23, pt. 2.

  21. Trofimova, I.E. and Balybina, A.S., Geographical patterns of the summer thermal regime of soils in Transbaikalia, Geogr. Nat. Resour., 2017, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 371–378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Smakhtin, V.K., Assessment of climate change in the territory of the Trans-Baikal Territory as of 2021. Cited June 1, 2022.

  23. Voropai, N.N., Gagarinova, O.V., Maksyutova, E.V., Osipova, O.P., Balybina, A.S., Kichigina, N.V., and Ilyicheva, E.A., Gidroklimaticheskie issledovaniya Baikal’skoi prirodnoi territorii (Hydroclimatic Studies of the Baikal Natural Territory), Novosibirsk: GEO, 2013.

  24. Trofimova, I.E. and Balybina, A.S., Monitoring of soil temperature and snow cover thickness on the territory of the Irkutsk oblast, Led i Sneg, 2012, no. 1, pp. 62–68.

Download references


This research was performed as part of Research Scientific Work, project no. АААА-А21-121012190059-5.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. S. Balybina.

Ethics declarations

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Additional information

Translated by I. Bel’chenko

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Balybina, A.S. Soil Temperature of Steppe Landscapes in the South of Eastern Siberia and Its Response to Climate Change. Geogr. Nat. Resour. 43 (Suppl 1), S56–S62 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • island steppes
  • Central Siberian Plateau
  • southern Transbaikalia
  • soil temperature
  • climate variability