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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Using Agricultural and Industrial Byproducts to Improve Crop Production Systems and Environment Quality

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Quantifying military training impacts using soil chemical and mechanical properties

Authors
item Hargrave, M -
item Gebhart, D -
item Torbert, Henry
item Baxter, C -
item Palazzo, A -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2011
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Citation: Hargrave, M., Gebhart, D., Torbert III, H.A., Baxter, C., Palazzo, A. 2011. Quantifying military training impacts using soil chemical and mechanical properties [abstract]. Society of American Archaeology Conference. CDROM.

Technical Abstract: The National Historic Preservation Act requires land-managing agencies to identify and account for their impacts on archaeological resources. Regulatory agencies that oversee compliance with historic preservation legislation frequently assume military training adversely affects archaeological resources. However, little research has been done to refute or support such assumptions. Consequently, the DoD must continue to avoid sites that may not be adversely impacted by military training. Research was initiated on military training lands to quantify vertical stratification of 19 individual soil compositional variables occurring at near-surface soil horizon interfaces. Five archaeological habitation areas at Fort Benning, GA, and Fort Riley, KS, were selected and each subsequently sub-divided into four treatment groups (archaeological and non-archaeological sites with and without disturbance) based on level of training disturbance and proximity to archaeological site boundaries. Several soil variables exhibited excessive variation in vertical stratification and deemed unreliable. These included (1) C due to low levels of organic matter and past land use (timber harvesting, prescribed burning) and (2) pH, P, K, and N, due to random, undocumented lime and fertilizer applications associated with agriculture. Several other variables, notably the extractable, low concentration elements such as Cu, Cr, Zn, and Ni, are bound tightly by organic matter and largely restricted to surface soils, but can be readily released and transported in acidic soil solution when physical disturbance to the surface soil exposes organic matter to increased mineralization rates. Assessment of potential indicators has shifted to ratios such as Top-to Total, Total-to-Soluble, and Leachable-to-Non-Leachable. Use of such methods could provide installation managers with more reliable information about which types of training activities threaten archaeological recourses.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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