• Knowledge-based digital soil mapping for predicting soil properties in two representative watersheds Soils and Plant Nutrition

    Menezes, Michele Duarte de; Silva, Sérgio Henrique Godinho; Mello, Carlos Rogério de; Owens, Phillip Ray; Curi, Nilton

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: The estimation of soil physical and chemical properties at non-sampled areas is valuable information for land management, sustainability and water yield. This work aimed to model and map soil physical-chemical properties by means of knowledge-based digital soil mapping approach as a study case in two watersheds representative of different physiographical regions in Brazil. Two watersheds with contrasting soil-landscape features were studied regarding the spatial modeling and prediction of physical and chemical properties. Since the method uses only one value of soil property for each soil type, the way of choosing typical values as well the role of land use as a covariate in the prediction were tested. Mean prediction error (MPE) and root mean square prediction error (RMSPE) were used to assess the accuracy of the prediction methods. The knowledge-based digital soil mapping by means of fuzzy logics is an accurate option for spatial prediction of soil properties considering: 1) lesser intense sampling scheme; 2) scarce financial resources for intensive sampling in Brazil; 3) adequacy to properties with non-linearity distribution, such as saturated hydraulic conductivity. Land use seems to influence spatial distribution of soil properties thus, it was applied in the soil modeling and prediction. The way of choosing typical values for each condition varied not only according to the prediction method, but also with the nature of spatial distribution of each soil property.
  • Microstructural strength of four subtropical soils evaluated by rheometry: properties, difficulties and opportunities Soils and Plant Nutrition

    Pértile, Patricia; Holthusen, Dörthe; Gubiani, Paulo Ivonir; Reichert, José Miguel

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: The structural strength of soils has been extensively described by physical and mechanical properties evaluated on the mesoscale for different soils and management conditions. However, changes in the organization of the soil matrix at the microstructural level, which can be obtained by rheometry, are still seldom used in soil mechanics. Our aim was to use the amplitude sweep test, a rheometry technique, to investigate the microstructural strength of four subtropical soils (two Oxisols, an Ultisol and a Vertisol) and to discuss difficulties with respect to the samples, water content, soil density and vertical force. The various rheological properties which reveal the soil microstructural strength were determined: deformation at the end of the linear viscoelastic range, LVE range (γLVE), shear stress at the end of the LVE range (τLVE), deformation at yield point, YP (γYP), storage and loss moduli at YP (G′G″YP), maximum shear stress (τmax), and integral z. In general, soil elasticity (γLVE and γYP) and microstructural strength (τLVE and τmax) were greater in the Oxisols and the Vertisol, which both possess high clay content, while the latter also contains expansive clay minerals. The lowest structural strength was observed in the Ultisol which had a high sand content. As rheological properties are related to soil properties such as particle size distribution and carbon content, they can be applied in the evaluation of the microstructural strength of clayey and sandy soils and allows for inferences regarding inter-particle shear strength. However, the test is not applicable to very dry soil samples and sample preparations can affect the results. We suggest a number of approaches to find solutions for these difficulties/problems.
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