Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf

Measuring soil displacement due to passing over restored soils

The improved techniques of land restoration provide loose soils that have subsequently to be treated with extensive agricultural management for several years. We investigated the influence of the age of restored soils on their mechanical bearing capacity and their potential to recover from mechanical impacts. For this, we accomplished wheeling experiments with a tractor and a manure trailer on two restored soils, which had been heaped three and one year before, respectively. We ascertained the vertical soil displacement at the soil surface with digital levelling and in the soil profile at ca. 28 cm depth with a particularly developed hydrostatic soil displacement meter. After the wheeling, we determined soil subsidence of ca. 11 mm at the soil surface and of ca. 6 mm in 28 cm depth. Soil displacement reformed within less than three weeks at the soil surface as well as within the soil profile. Additionally, both restorations showed the same recovering from soil displacement independently of their ages. However, the soil in the tracks did not reach the same height, to which the soil with no wheeling had elevated until the end of the observation period.

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