Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Wheel ruts still persist along some historic wagon trails in the USA, suggesting that vehicular traffic can modify soil properties for more than a century. The 1864-1871 Wadsworth Trail in western Minnesota was the focus of a 1996 study to determine whether differences in soil properties yet exist across this Trail. Compaction was evident within the wheel ruts as bulk density was 25% greater and infiltration 50% lower within the ruts compared to outside the Trail. Erosion may have contributed to differences in soil properties across the Trail as the A horizon was 60 mm thinner within the wheel ruts than outside the Trail. Degradation of soil properties caused by compaction or erosion from wheel traffic can persist for more than a century. Therefore, practices must be implemented to minimize soil loss or compaction by vehicular traffic on agricultural soils.