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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


BERTOL, Ildegardis et al. Relations of soil surface roughness with the rainfall volume and water aggregate stability. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2006, vol.30, n.3, pp.543-553. ISSN 1806-9657.

Soil surface roughness is, among other factors, affected by soil tillage, cumulative rainfall and aggregate stability in relation to destructive water action. The soil surface roughness of a soil classified as a Haplumbrept was evaluated in an area where a water erosion experiment under natural rainfall has been carried out over the course of 15 years in the South of the Planalto Catarinense, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. The soil microrelief was characterized by the indices: roughness (RR), tortuosity (T) and limiting elevation difference (LD) and was measured in 2003 in a corn crop, and in 2004 in an oat crop (cumulative rainfall during the experimental periods was 229 and 350 mm, respectively). Moreover, water aggregate stability was evaluated and expressed by the mean weight diameter (DMP) and mean geometric diameter (DMG) of aggregates between the two crops, in 2004. The studied soil tillage system treatments were: plowing plus disking (PC), chisel plow plus disking (CM), and no-tillage (SD), both under corn and oat crops. One additional treatment used as reference consisted of bare soil tillage with plowing plus disking (SC). The surface roughness was evaluated five times under corn and four times under oat. The first evaluation was carried out immediately after soil tilling and the others every other week. The initial values of the RR, T, and LD indices were high and decreased with increasing rainfall on SC, PC AND CM treatments, while in the SD treatment the afore-mentioned indices were only high for oat and varied very little as the rainfall increased. The reduction in the random RR index was the highest in the BS treatment, while the lowest reduction occurred in the SD treatment. The values of all indices under study were reduced in comparison to that of the original microrelief condition, where the slope effects and the soil tillage marks had not been removed, with the condition where they were not considered. The RR, T, and LD indices evaluated in random conditions, were inversely correlated with the natural rainfall volume. The cumulative decay of the random RR index towards the end of the experiment was inversely correlated with the DMP and DMG of the soil structure aggregates.

Keywords : soil tillage; roughness indices; surface microrelief.

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