Main content area

Changes in Void Distribution and Volume During Compaction of a Forest Soil

Lenhard, Robert J.
Soil Science Society of America journal 1986 v.50 no.2 pp. 462-464
bulk density, equipment, forest management, forest soils, porosity, soil physical properties, volcanic ash
Bulk density and water retention measurements were conducted after 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 trips with a rubber-tired skidder on a forest soil whose surface was formed from volcanic ash. Changes in these measurements were used to evaluate effects of travelling intensity with heavy equipment on some soil physical properties. Bulk density reached a maximum after four trips and remained statistically constant with additional trips. A parameter indexing the poresize distribution, however, changed after four trips. The distribution of flow channels, therefore, was altered even with no significant change in mass per unit volume relationships. Compression of the soil during each skidder pass and elastic rebound thereafter was identified as the mechanism resulting in changes of the pore-size distribution while bulk density remained constant. Effects of heavy equipment operation on the pore-size distribution and water retention properties should be recognized in forest management.