About Field Sites
Abby Road (ABBY) is a terrestrial NEON field site located approximately 30 km (18 mi.) northeast of Vancouver, WA and situated in the western foothills of the Cascade Range in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The 29.9 km2 (7390 acre) site is a conglomerate of parcels managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and is typical of WDNR land in the area. Different parcels have logging years that range from 1940 to 2016, allowing for the opportunity to collect NEON data on a dynamically managed forest landscape. ABBY is located in NEON's Pacific Northwest Domain (D16), which is bounded by the Pacific on the west and Canada on the north. It includes the eastern halves of Washington and Oregon and parts of northern California. The Domain hosts three other field sites: two aquatic and one additional terrestrial. 
The climate of ABBY is maritime, defined by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River Gorge, with secondary orographic lifting effects from the Cascade Range. Warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters are typical. On average, 2450 mm (96.5 in.) of precipitation falls annually, with an average yearly temperature of 10°C (50 °F). Interannual variation plays a major role in yearly precipitation levels; the El Niño Southern Oscillation is a driving force behind warmer, drier years, which leads to an increased chance of drought and wildfires.  
Historic volcanic and glacial activity largely defines the geology of ABBY. Basalt and andesite flows dominate the area, with pre-Fraser alpine glacial drift influence near the flux tower.  
The physical and chemical weathering of igneous rock and volcanic ash produced the majority of soil types present at ABBY, including the Cinebar, Kinney, Larchmount, Olympic, Ferteg, Huss, and Aschoff soil series. Most series have only a minor presence; Cinebar silt loam and Kinney silt loam each make up about a third of the overall soil components across the site. Another minority series is the Yacolt soil series, formed by alpine glacial drift mixed with basalt, pumice and volcanic ash alluvium. Most ABBY soils classify as andisols or andic type soils, owing to a high presence of weathered volcanic glass.  
Situated in the East Fork Lewis River Watershed, ABBY contains many small streams and larger creeks converging to form Rock Creek, which flows into the East Fork of the Lewis River and travels westward to the Columbia River. 
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) dominate the upper canopy in older stands, with pockets of red alder (Alnus rubra) in mixed forest zones. In recently logged areas, western red cedar (Thuja plicata) grows between the planted Douglas fir. The understory varies with succession; short stature vine maple (Acer cercinatum) is often found in recently logged parcels while salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is more common in shrubby habitats. Salal (Gaultheria shallon) and Cascara buckthorn (Frangula purshiana) are found throughout the ABBY site. 
Elk (Cervus canadensis), black bear (Ursus americanus), black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), fisher (Martes pennanti), coyote (Canis latrans), mountain lion (Puma concolor), raptors, and various types of small mammals including reptiles and amphibians are found in the area.    
Past Land Management and Use
The Yacolt Burn State Forest, in which ABBY is situated, is named after the Yacolt Fire, the largest of many wildfires that destroyed over 900 km2 (350 sq. mi.) of southwestern Washington State in the summer of 1902. Thirty-eight people died, hundreds of families were displaced, and billions of board-feet of lumber were destroyed in the span of three days. The first state fire warden was appointed the following year in response to the crisis, but it was not until 1905 that a state legislature-appointed fire suppression authority was formed. The true origins of the Yacolt Burn are unknown, but human carelessness is the prevailing theory, whether from loggers burning slash or settlers clearing land. Over the next fifty years, the area experienced many re-burns, including a particularly serious fire in 1952, until advanced fire management practices and intensive reforestation effectively reduced the severity of burns, though occasional small fires continue to the present day. 
Current Land Management and Use
The 365 km2 (227 sq. mi.) Yacolt Burn State Forest is managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) as a working forest, providing opportunities for timber production, biomass byproducts, and numerous recreational activities. Undeveloped parcels increase water-retention potential to combat droughts and provide habitat for native species. The forest is contained within the WDNR's Pacific Cascade Region, which includes 1942 km2 (750 sq. mi.) of state-managed forests, agricultural land, and urban and conservation areas.  
NEON Site Establishment
TOS Distributed Plots were allocated at ABBY according to a spatially balanced and stratified-random design. The 2011 National Land Cover Database (NLCD) was selected for stratification because of the consistent and comparable data availability across the United States. Due to active logging and seeding that takes place within the NEON terrestrial sampling boundary, a combination of NLCD map and logging years were used to create a vegetation map for stratification. For older stands (1940-2000), the 2011 NLCD map was used to determine NLCD classification, in particular to distinguish areas of evergreen forest, mixed forest and deciduous forest. For parcels that had been logged after 2000, a combination of logging year and field validation was used to assign a NLCD classification. TOS Tower Plots were allocated according to a spatially balanced design in and around the NEON tower airshed. Plot establishment was completed in December 2016; TOS and TIS sampling began in January and April 2017, respectively.
 Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 16. NEON.DOC.003899vA
 Ufnar, Daniel. (2019). NEON Site-Level Plot Summary, Abby Road (ABBY), March 2019. https://data.neonscience.org/documents/10179/2361410/ABBY_Soil_SiteSumm…
 McGee, D.A., McGee, S.S., Mayko, R.W., Call, W.A., & McMurphy, C.J. (1972). Soil Survey of Clark County, Washington. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MANUSCRIPTS/washington/WA011/0/w…
 McDaniel, P. A., & Wilson, M. A. (2007). Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Ash-influenced Soils of Inland Northwest Forests. In Volcanic-Ash-Derived Forest Soils of the Inland Northwest: Properties and Implications for Management and Restoration. 9-10 November 2005; Coeur d'Alene, ID (pp. 31–45). Proceedings RMRS-P-44; Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Retrieved from https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_p044/rmrs_p044_031_045.pdf
 DNR Regions and Districts. 2017. Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved from: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/about/dnr-regions-and-districts
 U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/
 PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu, created 4 Feb 2004.
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
This site has a flux/meteorological tower that is 19 m (62 ft) tall with five measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface, soil heat flux, solar radiation, and throughfall are measured at the soil surface in each soil plot. Soil moisture, soil temperature, and CO2 concentration are measured at multiple depths in each soil plot.
At terrestrial sites, field ecologists observe birds and plants, and sample ground beetles, mosquitoes, small mammals, soil microbes, and ticks. Lab analyses are carried out to provide further data on DNA sequences, pathogens, soils, sediments, and biogeochemistry. Learn more about terrestrial observations or explore this site's data products.
Field Site Data
Washington Department of Natural Resources
Site Access Allowed
Site Access Details
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources does not currently allow other research activities in this area.
NEON Field Operations Office
Domain 16 Support Facility
NEON Field Operations Address
1211 SE Cardinal Court, Suite 120
Vancouver, WA 98683
NEON Field Operations Phone
Mean Annual Temperature
Mean Annual Precipitation
Mean Canopy Height
Dominant NLCD Classes
Evergreen Forest, Grassland/Herbaceous, Shrub/Scrub
Average number of green days
Average first greenness increase date
Average peak green date
Average first greenness decrease date
Average minimum greenness date
Number of Tower Levels
USGS Geology Unit
USGS Geology Name
Upper Eocene volcanic rocks
USGS Lithologic Constituents
Basaltic-andesite and basalt with minor andesite, dacite, and basalt flows, and thin interbeds of shale, tuff, and volcanic sandstone.
USGS Geology Age
Late Eocene to Oligocene
Related Field Sites
Other Domain D16 Field Sites
Other Field Sites in WA