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A method of predicting bulk density changes in field soils resulting from compaction by agricultural traffic

, : A method of predicting bulk density changes in field soils resulting from compaction by agricultural traffic. Journal of Soil Science 32(1): 51-66

A simplified soil mechanical model was constructed to predict compaction beneath agricultural wheels when running on soils of certain characteristics. Soil strength functions were developed from in situ measurements of field soils and some laboratory measurements. Soil strain was measured by surface sinkage and changes of dry bulk density by .gamma.-ray transmission methods. Soil stresses were measured by deformable spherical transducers and compared to predicted stresses using equations developed by Sohne. A method of analysis was devised to identify a form of the virgin compression line from field data. Changes of the slope and intercept of this line were monitored over a range of moisture contents for 2 soils and used in the prediction model. The prediction model was tested against compaction measured during independent experiments at different sites. Good prediction was found for soils of initial dry bulk density > 1.1 g cm-3 and cone resistance > 500 kPa[pascal], using a, 12.9 mm diameter cone. On looser and weaker soils the predicted compaction was often less than measured values. Using the model for simulation of compaction beneath a range of wheels revealed that contact pressure alone can be a misleading guide to compaction. Increases of bulk density below 10 cm are considerably influenced by wheel load. The most effective way of reducing compaction requires the use of both a minimum load and a maximum contact area.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2389.1981.tb01685.x

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