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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Watershed Physical Processes Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #395031

Research Project: Acoustic and Geophysical Methods for Multi-Scale Measurements of Soil and Water Resources

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research

Title: Study of soil surface sealing and crusting using a seismic surface wave method

Author
item LU, ZHIQUE - University Of Mississippi
item WILSON, GLENN - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)

Submitted to: Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Soil surface sealing and crusting are a hard top layer, formed through the processes of raindrop impact, drying, and clogging of pores. Assessment of the surface sealed/crusted layer is an important effort in reducing soil erodibility and run-off. In this study, a non-invasive surface wave method was employed for the assessment. The tests were conducted on both a naturally formed sealed/crusted soil and a non-sealed/non-crusted soil. It was found that the sealed/crusted soil showed higher velocity for the top layer than that of non-sealed/non-crusted soil. Invasive tests, such as soil core analysis, shear vane and penetration tests were also conducted for the validation of the surface wave method. The results from both the surface wave method and invasive tools were in good agreement. This study demonstrates that the surface method can be used to nondestructively evaluate and assess soil sealing and crusting layer thickness in situ. The developed technique can apply to agricultural and environmental applications.

Technical Abstract: Soil surface sealing and crusting are formed through the processes of raindrop impact, drying, and clogging of pores. This creates a mechanically hard top layer that shows high stiffness, mechanical strength, seismic velocity, and reduced infiltration rate. The existence of surface seals and crusts affects soil erodibility and run-off. In this study, a non-invasive seismic surface wave method was employed to evaluate surface crust and the profile below. The method was based on the multi-channel analysis of surface wave method (MASW). In this study, the MASW tests were conducted on a naturally formed sealed/crusted soil and on a non-sealed/non-crusted soil as a control test. Soil cores, shear vane and penetration tests were conducted to compare with the observations from the MASW method. The results from both the MASW method and invasive tools are in good agreement, demonstrating that the MASW method can be used to evaluate and assess soil sealing and crusting layer in situ.