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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 6, p. 697-700
    Received: Jan 23, 1963
    Accepted: Apr 24, 1963

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A Field Measurement of Total Porosity and Surface Microrelief of Soils1

  1. R. E. Burwell,
  2. R. R. Allmaras and
  3. M. Amemiya2, 3



Total porosity of the layer to be plowed was estimated from undisturbed cores collected before primary tillage. Using a point quadrant instrument, soil surface elevation measurements were made before and after preplant tillage, and after each cultivation to determine the effects of tillage on total porosity of the plowed layer. Large apparent differences in capacity to detain water, as inferred from total porosity, were observed among preplant tillages and among particular combinations of preplant and postplant tillage that are used in the western Corn Belt.

When total porosity of the plowed layer was measured in the ensuing fall and spring, relatively small changes in total prosity were observed. This result suggests that this physical property persists over a long time in a Barnes loam.

To evaluate the effects of tillage on surface geometry and temporary water storage in surface depressions, macro and random surface roughness as measured by the point quadrant instrument are considered. Estimates of the standard error among logarithm of the elevation heights differed among tillage treatments. The standard error is suggested as an index of random roughness.

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