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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 5, p. 1288-1293
    Received: May 27, 1986

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Penetrometer Resistance and Bulk Density as Parameters for Predicting Root System Performance in Mine Soils1

  1. P. J. Thompson,
  2. I. J. Jansen and
  3. C. L. Hooks2



Material handling methods used in the construction of soils after surface mining often result in a soil with physical and structural characteristics that restrict root development. A method to quickly and easily predict root system performance and compare mine soils on the basis of their suitability for root growth is needed. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of penetrometer resistance (as measured by a constant rate cone penetrometer) and bulk density as parameters for predicting root system performance. Both penetrometer resistance and bulk density data fit well into a multiple linear regression model that could be used to predict root length density in the lower portion of the root zone (67–110 cm depth). Results suggest that in the mine soils studied, both bulk density (R2 = 0.81) and penetrometer resistance (R2 = 0.73) are useful predictors of root system performance.

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