Soil landscape evolution due to soil redistribution by tillage: a new conceptual model of soil catena evolution in agricultural landscapes



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Alba Alonso, Saturnino de and Lindström, Mikael and Schumacher, T.E. and Malo, D.D. (2004) Soil landscape evolution due to soil redistribution by tillage: a new conceptual model of soil catena evolution in agricultural landscapes. Catena, 58 . pp. 77-100. ISSN 0341-8162

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This paper focuses on analysing tillage as a mechanism for the transformation of soil spatial
variability, soil morphology, superficial soil properties and development of soil–landscape
relationships in agricultural lands. A new theoretical two-dimensional model of soil catena
evolution due to soil redistribution by tillage is presented. Soil profile truncation occurs through loss
of soil mass on convexities and in the upper areas of the cultivated hillslopes; while the opposite
effect takes place in concavities and the lower areas of the field where the original soil profile
becomes buried. At sectors of rectilinear morphology in the hillslope (backslope positions), a null
balance of soil translocation takes place, independent of the slope gradient and of the rate of
downslope soil translocation. As a result, in those backslope areas, a substitution of soil material in
the surface horizon with material coming from upslope areas takes place. This substituted material
can produce an inversion of soil horizons in the original soil profile and sometimes, the formation of
‘‘false truncated soil’’. In the Skogstad agricultural field (Cyrus, MN) spatial patterns of soil
properties (soil calcium carbonate content) in the surface soil horizons and soil morphology along
several slope transects were analyzed. These spatial patterns are compared with those estimated for
soil redistribution (areas of erosion and deposition) due to tillage using the Soil Redistribution by
Tillage (SORET) model and water erosion using the models Water Erosion Prediction Project
(WEPP) and Universal Soil Loss Equation (Usle2D). Results show that tillage was the predominant
process of soil redistribution in the studied agricultural field. Finally, some practical implications of
the proposed model of soil landscape modification by tillage are discussed. Nomographs to calculated the intensity of the expansion process of the eroded soil units by tillage are proposed for
three different patterns of tillage.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Soil redistribution; Tillage erosion; Water erosion; Soil catena; Soil spatial variability; Pedoturbation; Pedology; Mollisolls
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
ID Code:25718
Deposited On:06 Jun 2014 09:29
Last Modified:09 Jun 2014 08:28

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