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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Aggregate Stability Kit for on-Site Assessments

Authors
item Seybold, C - USDA-NAT RES CONSERV SVC
item Herrick, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Catena
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2000
Publication Date: May 18, 2001
Citation: Seybold, C.A., Herrick, J.E. Aggregate stability kit for soil quality assessments. CATENA. 2001. v. 44(1). p. 37-45.

Interpretive Summary: The proportion of the soil which is stable in water is an important indicator of soil quality but there are no simple methods for measuring it which simple, inexpensive and directly comparable to laboratory methods. This paper describes a method for measuring aggregate stability that follows the common laboratory single-sieve wet-sieving method. A combination manual sieving and drying apparatus is constructed from a trunk-style tackle box. Sieves are constructed from 60 mesh screen and PVC reducing adapters. The method requires manual sieving, 30 cycles for minute for three minutes. Percent water aggregate stabilities from the manual sieving method are comparable to the mechanical wet sieving method. The new method was able to distinguish differences in aggregate stability caused by differences in soil type and land use. This method can provide a low cost, reliable and sensitive tool that can be used in conjunction with other measurements to assess soil quality.

Technical Abstract: Soil aggregate stability is an important indicator of soil quality. For soil quality assessment, there is a need for a quantitative field method for measuring aggregate stability that is simple to perform, low cost, and available for routine assessments by land managers. A method is presented that follows the commonly used or standard single-sieve wet-sieving method for aggregate stability. A combination manual sieving and drying apparatus is constructed from a trunk-style tackle box. Sieves are constructed from 60 mesh screen and PVC reducing adapters. The method requires manual sieving, 30 cycles for minute for three minutes. Percent water aggregate stabilities from the manual sieving method are comparable to the mechanical wet sieving method. The new method was able to distinguish differences in aggregate stability caused by differences in soil type and land use. This method can provide a low cost, reliable and sensitive tool that can be used din conjunction with other measurements to assess soil quality.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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