WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT FROM MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS
Location: Agroecosystems Management Research Unit
Title: Quantifying and modeling soil structure dynamics
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 2012
Publication Date: April 4, 2013
Citation: Logsdon, S.D., Horn, R., Berli, M. 2013. Quantifying and modeling soil structure dynamics. In: Logsdon, S.D., Berli, M., and Horn, R., editors. Advances in agricultural systems modeling 3. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America. p. 19.
Characterization of soil structure has been a topic of scientific discussions ever since soil structure has been recognized as an important factor affecting soil physical, mechanical, chemical, and biological processes. Beyond semi-quantitative soil morphology classes, it is a challenge to describe and quantify soil structure. Until recently, it was not possible to visualize soil structure without destroying the structure itself. The structure of a disturbed soil may be quite different than the structure in-situ. Often the laboratory procedures to determine aggregate stability remove the aggregates from their in-situ arrangement. Some of the difficulties in quantifying soil structure directly could be circumvented by trying to quantify the "interior" architecture (voids, biopores, and cracks between the aggregates and peds) rather than the "framework" of soil. The aim of this book is to provide an overview of current approaches and technologies that shed light on soil structure dynamics and how to quantify it. Rather than merely describing soil structure, this book seeks to quantify soil structure in ways that can be incorporated into larger models. The book is a collection of articles addressing soil structure dynamics from various angles, which include characterizing the solid phase, characterizing the soil voids, and soil structure functioning. Future work on soil structure must address preferential flow of water, solutes, colloids, and gases; non-intrusive field methods; and standardization of procedures.