Geotechnisches Intitut AG, 3007 Bern

Comparison between restored and naturally developed soils

The new Mattstetten-Rothrist rail line builded in the frame of “Railway 2000“ was one of the first large-scale construction projects to strictly implement soil protection regulations introduced about 10 years ago. Supervised by a pedological consultation team, this was realised from the planning of the project to subsequent soil management. The objective of this study was to examine the mid- to long-term effects of these efforts using easy-to-apply parameters, and covering as wide an area as possible. Using a penetrometer, penetration resistance of both restored areas and neighbouring, naturally produced soils were measured and compared in a field study at the end of the subsequent management. Two locations (Wanzwil and Hersiwil) and two types of soil cultivation (ley and field) as well as volumetric soil water content were taken into consideration. The results demonstrate that after seven years of subsequent management, restored soils show no difference from naturally produced ones with regard to penetration resistance. Thus, by applying extensive soil protection measures, it was possible to avoid soil compaction. Particularly noticeable fact was that the restored soils in the plow pan strata (25-35 cm) showed somewhat lower penetration resistance. This qualitative advantage should be maintained through plowless tillage or through the use of On-land-Plow systems.

To the archive