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Soil Erosion: Water Moves Soil! PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Soil Erosion: Water Moves Soil!. Horizon “O”: Organic Layer All soils do not have this Found beneath vegetation Contributes OM to all other layers Horizon “A”: Topsoil Other than location, no “official” or regulated definition Critical to plant growth Critical to landscape success

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Soil Erosion: Water Moves Soil!

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Soil Erosion: Water Moves Soil!


Horizon “O”: Organic Layer

All soils do not have this

Found beneath vegetation

Contributes OM to all other layers

Horizon “A”: Topsoil

Other than location, no “official” or regulated definition

Critical to plant growth

Critical to landscape success

Should be removed prior to construction and stock piled on site

Horizon “B”: Subsoil (a transition zone)

Much of the exposed soil in areas where construction has occurred

May contain accumulated soluble salts beneath cultivated areas

Horizon “C”: Parent Material

Little or no soil development.

Usually contains various sized rocks

Horizon “D”: Bedrock

You Get What You Pay For

Soil Horizons

What is Topsoil?

Poison Hemlock!


Physical Properties

Soil Horizons

Soil Texture, Consistency, & Structure

Soil Compaction (Bulk Density)

Soil Moisture

Chemical Properties

pH

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

Biological Properties

Microorganisms

bacteria

fungi (e.g. mycorrhizas)

protozoa

nematodes

Macroorganisms

arthropods

earthworms

nematodes

Decomposition / Nutrient Recycling

Aeration

Aggregation (e.g. “microbial glue”)

Biological

Chemical

Physical

Soil Properties:

SOIL TEXTURE

pH

CEC

SOIL MOISTURE

SQUIRMEES

SOIL STRUCTURE

They Are Not Independent!


Let’s Focus on Compaction


Topsoil

A:

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

Trouble on the Horizon

Organic

O:

Squeeze Play!

Note: Topsoil Remains, but it is compressed

COMPACTION!


Trouble on the Horizon

Compaction


Characteristics of Soil Compaction:

  • Impermeable (hard!) soil:

    • High resistance to water penetration and movement (low infiltration and drainage)

    • High resistance to root penetration

  • Low Water Holding Capacity

  • Low Oxygen Holding Capacity


Root Needs

  • Water

  • Warmth

  • Oxygen [O]: the #1 element needed for root health

    • 25% of the soil volume

    • At 5%, root growth stops

    • At 2%, roots decline and die


Mineral Particles: 45%

Mineral Particles: 75%

Air: 25%

Air: 12%

Water: 25%

Organic Matter: 5%

Water: 12%

Organic Matter: 1%

Soil Structure and Compaction

Good Soil Structure

Poor Soil Structure

Soil Pores

Soil Pores


Your Soil May Not be Compacted

Several Soil Problems Mimic the Characteristics of

Soil Compaction


Topsoil

A:

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

Trouble on the Horizon

Organic

O:

Gone in 60 Seconds

Exposed Subsoil: Mimics Compacted Soil!


Trouble on the Horizon

Topsoil Removed

Topsoil Stockpiled


Trouble on the Horizon

Only 2-3” of topsoil returned!


Built on a Farm Field?


Topsoil

A:

Compaction Zone

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

Subsurface Plow Compaction Zone:

Organic

O:


Topsoil

A:

Compaction Zone

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

Subsurface Tilling Compaction Zone:

Organic

O:


Subsurface Rototiller Compaction Zone

Front Tines

Weight

Weight

Rear Tines


Built on a Farm Field?

Plowing: Washing-Out Clay Particles


“False” Clay-Layer Horizon

Illuviation: Deposition of Particles in Lower Level

Eluviation: Downward Movement of Soil Particles by Water

Clay Particles


Topsoil

A:

Clay Layer

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

Perched Water Table:

“False” Clay-Layer Horizon:

MORE WATER

WATER

Organic

O:


Topsoil

A:

Clay Layer

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

"Upside-Down Soils:

Acts Like Compacted Soil!

Organic

O:


“Upside-Down” Soils:

Lower layers are brought to the surface


Clay Layer

Subsoil

B:

Parent Material

C:

Bedrock

D:

"Upside-Down Soils:

Note: some topsoil may remain beneath the false clay layer


Dealing With a False Clay Layer and/or a Subsurface Compaction Zone:

Subsoiler


Other Soil Perspectives

A really big guy?

…or just a small shovel?


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