Compaction and shading effects on surface cracking in a vertisol

Srivastava, K L and Smith, G D and Jangawad, L S (1989) Compaction and shading effects on surface cracking in a vertisol. Soil & Tillage Research, 13 (2). pp. 151-161. ISSN 0167-1987

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The effects of soil compaction and shading on surface cracking were studied in miniplots on a Vertisol at ICRISAT Center. Two distinctly different types of cracking were observed: (1) Type 1, wide and deep cracks, associated with bigger intercrack structural units (ISUs); (2) Type 2, narrow and shallow cracks, associated with smaller ISUs. Although differences in the areal shrinkage on the soil surface were rather small across the treatments, compaction and shading resulted in Type-1 cracking, and uncompacted and unshaded treatments produced Type-2 cracking. The equivalent diameter of ISUs was increased approximately twice by shading and three times by compaction. These differences may be attributed to: (1) structural changes during compaction; (2) structural adjustments during drying. A qualitative model of crack initiation, which explains the observed effects, has been proposed. These results have important applications in soil management. Type-1 cracking may improve infiltration and internal drainage and effective storage of water in subsurface layers. But for efficient seedling establishment. Type-2 cracking is preferred. Field experiments to test these concepts are warranted.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Charan Sai Ch
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2011 12:48
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2011 12:48
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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