Submitted to: Journal of Visualized Experiments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2017
Publication Date: 9/12/2017
Citation: Erskine, R.H., Sherrod, L.A., Green, T.R. 2017. Measuring and mapping patterns of soil erosion and deposition related to soil carbonate concentrations under agricultural management. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 10.3791/56064.
Interpretive Summary: Spatial patterns of soil erosion and deposition can be inferred from differences in ground elevation mapped at appropriate time increments. Such changes in elevation are related to changes in near-surface soil carbonates. Repeatable methods for field and laboratory measurements of these quantities and data analysis procedures are described here.
Technical Abstract: Spatial patterns of soil erosion and deposition can be inferred from differences in ground elevation mapped at appropriate time increments. Such changes in elevation are related to changes in near-surface soil carbonate (CaCO3) profiles. The objective is to describe a simple conceptual model and protocol for repeatable field and laboratory measurements of these quantities. Here, accurate elevation is measured using a ground-based differential global positioning system (GPS), but other data acquisition methods could be applied to the same basic method. Soil samples are collected from prescribed depth intervals and analyzed in the lab using an efficient and precise modified pressure-calcimeter method for estimating inorganic carbon concentration. Standard statistical methods are applied to point data, and representative results show significant correlations between changes in soil surface layer CaCO3 and changes in elevation consistent with the conceptual model, a general decrease in CaCO3 in depositional areas and increase in erosional areas. Maps are derived from point measurements of elevation and soil carbonates to aid analyses. A map of erosion and deposition patterns at the study site, a rain-fed winter wheat field cropped in alternating wheat-fallow strips, shows the interacting effects of water and wind erosion affected by management and topography. Alternative sampling methods and depth intervals are discussed and recommended for future work relating soil erosion and deposition to soil carbonate.