Title: Military vehicle trafficking impacts on vegetation and soil bulk density at Fort Benning, Georgia Authors
Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 11, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Potential increases in wind erosion that might be brought about by military vehicles travelling on off-road sites during training are of concern to the Military establishment. Field studies were conducted in the summer of 2012 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The objective of the experiment was to assess the rise in potential dust emissions due to wind erosion during or after military vehicle traffic. Site specific quantitative data on the major soil and vegetation parameters are needed in order to make appropriate estimates of dust emissions from the soil. The field experiment consisted of carrying out multiple trafficking passes by tracked and wheeled vehicles. A tracked (M1A1 Tank) and wheeled (Humvee) vehicle were driven in a figure eight pattern in 40 m X 70 m plots. On each plot, 3 levels of vehicle passes were made. On the tracked plots the M1A1 was driven 1, 5 and 10 times. On the wheeled plots the Humvee was driven 10, 25 and 50 times. The vehicles were driven repeatedly on the same tracks. The statistical design consisted of vehicle type in the main plots and vehicles passes in the sub plots in three replications. Bulk density, above ground standing biomass, and vegetative cover data were taken from the straight, curved, and cross-over sections of the vehicle tracks. Samples were also taken before the start of trafficking. Each biomass sample was subdivided by species. Bulk density, total aboveground biomass, grass biomass, forb biomass, individual biomass of the dominant species, and cover data were analyzed for differences between vehicles, vehicles passes, locations within the tracks, and their interactions. These results will be presented as well as comparisons with similar experiments conducted on two additional soil types at Ft. Riley, KS.