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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-6—NOTES

A dynamic cone penetrometer for measuring soil penetration resistance


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 4, p. 1320-1324
    Received: Jan 8, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): jherrick@nmsu.edu
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  1. Jeffrey E. Herrick *a and
  2. Tim L. Jonesb
  1. a USDA-ARS Jornada Exp. Range, MSC 3JER, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003
    b Dep. of Agronomy and Horticulture, New Mexico State Univ., Box 30001, Dep. 3Q, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003


Recognition of the importance of soil compaction is increasing, but instrument cost, measurement repeatability, and data interpretation limit its measurement on agricultural and rangelands. The dynamic penetrometer described here follows American Society of Agricutlural Engineers standards, but replaces the proving ring with a strike plate, a shaft extension, and a sliding hammer. The penetrometer cone is pushed into the soil by successive hammer blows. Penetration resistance is calculated as the work by the soil needed to stop cone movement divided by the penetration distance. The work by the soil is defined as the kinetic energy of the hammer when it impacts the strike plate. Construction cost is approximately $100 to $150. The standard drop height and hammer mass ensure measurements are consistent between operators.

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Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:1320–1324.