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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 53 No. 6, p. 1763-1771
    Received: Feb 16, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Soil, Landscape, and Erosion Relationships in a Northwest Illinois Watershed

  1. William R. Kreznor,
  2. Kenneth R. Olson ,
  3. Wayne L. Banwart and
  4. Donald L. Johnson
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave.
    Geography Dep., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801



The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between soil taxonomic description, landscape form and position, and erosion in northwest Illinois. The study area consists of a first-order drainage basin about 10 ha in size. The hillslopes have mean gradients of 6 to 10% with overland flow the primary contributor to erosion. A detailed geomorphic map of the watershed was constructed on a 1-m topographic survey base map. Map units were delineated based on slope shape, gradient, and USDA erosion class. Erosion classes were determined for the transect pedons by comparison with two uneroded and uncultivated pedons in area cemeteries with similar slope gradient, slope shape, slope length, and landscape positions. The A horizon thickness and organic C content decreased and clay content increased as a consequence of cultivation and erosion. Transect data for all hillslope geomorphic units showed the erosion classes near the shoulder to be either slightly or moderately eroded. The lower backslopes and upper footslopes, just above the sediment basin, were either severely or very severely eroded, suggesting slope length to be the dominant factor affecting erosion. The geomorphic units with concave across-slope shapes were found to be less eroded than those with convex across-slope shapes. All cultivated pedons failed to meet the criteria for Mollisols, which was the taxonomic placement of the uncultivated pedons. Erosion phase, landscape segment, slope shape, slope gradient, and slope length affected the taxonomic placement of the cultivated hill-slope soils when compared with uncultivated sites.

Funded under the terms of an agreement between USDA and the Illinois Agric. Exp. Stn. as part of Hatch Project no. 15-359 and in cooperation with Northcentral Regional Project no. NC-174.

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