ENVIRONMENT OF THE NLABS ANNEX
ARMY NATICK LABS MA EARTH SCIENCES LAB
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The report describes the environmental conditions at the U. S. Army Natick Laboratories Annex. This facility provides a nearby, adequately large area in an essentially rural locality for conducting field research and for developing and testing materiel. There are important environmental contrasts in slope, soil, drainage, vegetation, and in microclimate. Its climate is generally representative of intermediate climatic conditions. Characteristic landforms consist of level to slightly undulating lowlands and oval-shaped hills. The larger hills, rounded by glacial action, form conspicuous features that are over a hundred feet higher than the adjacent lowland. Swamps and marshes are numerous, vary greatly in size, and occur in lower parts of many lowlands. However, their extent in relatively level areas varies considerably with the amount of precipitation and season of the year. Soils occurring in the reservation are closely related to elevation, texture of glacial materials, and drainage. Stony, loamy sand soil derived from granite and gneiss material occurs on well-drained hills. Most of the lowlands have a loamy sand soil, but muck and peat are found in poorly drained areas. Daily maximum temperatures in summer average about 79F daily minima in winter are 32F and below almost every day from December through March. Mean annual precipitation is 46.31 inches. Mean annual snowfall is about 57 inches. Severe flooding occurs infrequently. The reservation is covered most with mixed deciduous hardwoods and conifers. The forests have been cut over many times but some dense stands of hardwood saplings occur in more recently abandoned fields.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods