Investigating structural stability using the soil water characteristic curve
K. Barlow and D. Nash
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
42(3) 291 - 296
Published: 23 April 2002
Soil physical properties, including infiltration, strength, water storage and aeration, affect the productivity of agricultural land. This paper investigated the stability of soil structure to chemical disruption, using the soil water characteristic curve. The soil water characteristic was determined twice on intact soil cores of an acidic mesotrophic, red Ferrosol (Gn4.11) and an acidic, eutrophic, grey Dermosol (Gn4.51). Saturated NaCl or deionised water was used to wet the soil cores between each determination.
Despite the variability associated with undisturbed soil cores, significant differences were detected in the soil water characteristic curves both within and between soil types. The ability to detect differences in the soil structure of the Ferrosol and Dermosol, both Emerson class 8, suggests this technique could be used to determine the chemical stability of soils with minimal mechanical disruption of the structure.Keywords: retention curve, soil stability.
Full text doi:10.1071/EA00073
© CSIRO 2002