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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 26 No. 6, p. 601-605
    Received: Jan 15, 1962
    Accepted: May 16, 1962

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Soil Hardpan Formation as Affected by Rate of Moisture Loss, Cyclic Wetting and Drying and Surface-Applied Forces1

  1. C. J. Gerard,
  2. W. R. Cowley,
  3. C. A. Burleson and
  4. M. E. Bloodworth2



A hypothesis was proposed by Gerard et al. (1) to explain the role of soil moisture loss in hardpan formation in cultivated and virgin soils of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Additional laboratory studies were conducted to clarify the proposed hypothesis. Results of the studies indicate that a slow rate of drying was an important factor in causing more intense close-packing of soil particles or a greater degree of soil hardness.

The formation of a compacted layer in the Willacy fine sandy loam as affected by wetting and drying cycles and externally applied force to the surface at different moisture levels also was determined. The data indicate that rate of moisture loss, surface-applied forces, wetting and drying cycles and temperature influenced the degree and/or rate of soil compaction. This soil was especially susceptible to compaction when the average moisture centent of the 0- to 7-inch soil-depth was 12.5%.

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