Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2002
Publication Date: October 15, 2002
Citation: POTTER, K.N., VELAZQUEZ-GARCIA, J., TORBERT III, H.A. USE OF A SUBMERGED JET DEVICE TO DETERMINE ERODIBILITY COEFFICIENTS OF SELECTED SOILS OF MEXICO. JOURNAL OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY. 2002. v. 57(5). p. 272-277.
Interpretive Summary: Soil erodibility from concentrated flowing water is difficult and expensive to determine, needing large amounts of labor, equipment and water. Yet estimates of erodibility are needed to predict erosion and potential impacts on crop productivity, sedimentation, and other environmental impacts. We tested an alternate method to determine soil erodibility coefficients that had not been previously tested on agricultural soils. A submerged jet device was used to determine soil scour over time from flowing water. We tested the device on six soils of widely varying textural and mineralogical composition at site of an on going cooperative project in central Mexico which includes two management practices, no-till and moldboard plow. The estimates of soil erodibility coefficients grouped soils of similar texture and mineralogy. Management effects were found in half of the sites, despite the time of testing being when management effects should be minimal. The submerged jet device proved to be simple and economical to operate and results in useful estimates of soil erodibility.
More than half of Mexico's soil and water resources are considered moderately to severely degraded, primarily due to erosion and sedimentation. Characterization of soil susceptibility to erosion in the field is often hampered by difficulty in obtaining reliable water supplies. We tested an alternative method to determine soil erodibility coefficients for concentrated water flow that had not been applied to agricultural soils. The submerged jet method of determining soil erodibility coefficients was tested on six soils of varying texture and predominant clay mineralogy near the end of the corn (Zea mays L.) growing season. The resulting erodibility coefficients segregated soils of similar texture and mineralogy. Management effects, such as moldboard plow and no-till were identified in three of the six test sites. The results of these tests, along with the relative ease of use and minimum labor and water requirements, suggest that the submerged jet device is a useful tool to determine soil erodibility coefficients of agricultural soils.