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Distributed Soil Displacement Associated with Surface Loading

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  031024,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13710) @2003
Authors:   Ahmed Abou-Zeid, R. Lal Kushwaha, D. S. D. Stilling
Keywords:   Sinkage, Soil Compaction, Soil vertical displacement

Soil compaction that is an inevitable result of agricultural practices alters physical properties of soil and tends to be undesirable as it adversely affects water and nutrient penetration and subsequent root growth and development. Furthermore, additional energy is spent to till the soil. Although a tremendous amount of research has been conducted in the area of soil compaction, the focus has been primarily with respect to surface soil sinkage. Realizing that the observed soil sinkage is the cumulative effect from compacting subsurface layers, this paper discusses the deflection, compaction and transferred force through the soil from a surface load. The surface load is comparable to loads associated with equipment movement and other tillage practices. A given volume of soil of known compaction and moisture content was loaded at the surface with a slowly applied force. The distribution of the load and displacement profile from the surface to depth was measured to provide further insight into the subsurface soil structures. For instance, the nonlinear exponential decay of the soil displacement from the surface to a given depth converged to zero at the location of a hard, compact layer or a point where no soil movement occurred, regardless of the initial soil compaction.

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