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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Hydraulic Properties of Some Soils with Paralithic Contacts1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 48 No. 6, p. 1355-1359
    Received: Sept 6, 1983
    Accepted: July 18, 1984

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  1. R. F. Paetzold and
  2. M. J. Mausbach2



Several soils containing paralithic contacts over sedimentary materials were studied. Hydraulic and related soil physical properties were determined in an effort to explain root restriction associated with paralithic contacts. These properties were evaluated for their usefulness as criteria in confirming the presence and location of paralithic contacts. Bulk density ranged from 1.21 to 1.78 Mg m−3 in C horizons and from 1.17 to 2.05 in Cr horizons. No statistical difference was found between C and Cr horizon bulk densities. Paired determinations showed no statistical difference in bulk density between the horizon immediately above and the horizon immediately below a paralithic contact. Similar results were obtained for total porosity and air-filled porosity at 33 kPa water content except that there was a statistical difference in air-filled porosity at 33-kPa water content between C and Cr horizons in fine-textured soils. Although Cr horizons retained more water at both 33 and 1500 kPa than C horizons, the water retention difference was the same for both C and Cr horizons. Hydraulic conductivity values were similar for all horizons within a particular soil. No abrupt or unusual change, in any soil property measured, was observed at a paralithic contact. High bulk density and poor water supplying ability were eliminated as aids useful in identifying and locating paralithic contacts in the materials studied.

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