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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effect of Compaction on Soil Physical and Hydraulic Properties: Experimental Results and Modeling


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 2, p. 390-398
    Received: Nov 27, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): tessier@versailles.inra.fr
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  1. S. Assouline,
  2. D. Tessier  and
  3. J. Tavares-Filho
  1. I.N.R.A. Centre de Recherches de Versailles. Unite de science du sol, Route de St-Cyr, 78026 Versailles cedex, France
    Universidade Estadual de Londrina, CCA-Agronomia, Londrina, Brazil



Soil compaction affects soil physical properties and, eventually, crop production. A severe drop in the productivity of the state of Parana, southern Brazil, was observed due to soil compaction. Two oxisols from this region, a Haplic Acrothox from the site of Cascavel and a Haplic Eutrothox from the site of Palotina, presenting different compaction behaviors in the field, are studied under laboratory conditions. Uniaxial compressive pressures, from 50 to 1000 kPa, are applied to soil samples at different initial matric potentials, varying from −0.1 to −1000 kPa. The bulk density of the Palotina soil is always higher than that of the Cascavel soil and is the highest when the initial matric tension is − 32 kPa. Differences in pH, cation-exchange capacity, organic matter, and clay particle thickness also tend to explain the different compaction behaviors. A model of the soil bulk density increase during compaction is proposed and compared with a multiplicative model and a logarithmic model. The performances of the proposed and the multiplicative models are practically similar and better than those of the logarithmic model. The major advantage of the proposed model is that it has one fitting parameter less than the multiplicative model. Compaction affects the soil water retention curves for the whole range of matric tensions, up to − 100 MPa. An approach that allows the evaluation of the hydraulic conductivity functions of the compacted samples is proposed. Applied to the Brooks and Corey relationship, the main drying curves of the compacted samples are well reproduced using one fitting parameter only.

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