Assessment of soil particle redistribution on two contrasting cultivated hillslopes
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2005.05.014
The particle size distributions of surface soils from two cultivated silty fields (Moorfield and Railway South) in Herefordshire, UK, were assessed by sampling on 20-m grids across the fields. Moorfield (8 ha) had a uniform landscape sloping mainly in a North-South direction while Railway South (12 ha) had complex undulating landscape characteristics. Samples from 3 surficial layers were also taken at 3 landscape positions at Moorfield to investigate recent (within-season) soil particle redistribution. Size fractions were determined using chemical dispersion, wet sieving (to separate the sand fractions) and laser gramilometry (for the finer fractions). The distribution of various fractions and the relationships between elevation and the various fractions suggest preferential detachment and movement of coarse to very coarse silt fractions (16-63 mu m), which were found mostly at downslope or depositional areas. Upper slope samples had higher clay to fine silt (< 16 mu m) contents than bottom slope samples. The upslope-downslope patterns of size fractions, particularly on uniformly sloping areas, of the 2 fields were similar and their deposited sediments were dominated by coarse silt fractions. Samples from 3 landscape positions at Moorfield became coarser from the less eroded summit, through the eroding side-slope to the bottom-slope depositional area. Within each of these landscape positions the top 0-2.5 cm layers were more enriched in coarse silt fractions than the bottom layers. The spatial patterns of soil particle size distributions in the 2 fields may be a result of sediment detachment and deposition caused by water erosion and tillage operations. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.