Rapid method for assessment of soil structural stability by turbidimeter

Zhu, Yingcan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4087-0169 and Marchuk, Alla and Bennett, John McLean (2016) Rapid method for assessment of soil structural stability by turbidimeter. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 80 (6). pp. 1629-1637. ISSN 0361-5995


A rapid and inexpensive method to evaluate soil structural stability via assessment of soil clay dispersion is needed. Such a method would provide critical information for decision-making for soil and agricultural management not currently undertaken due to the expense of testing. The aim of this work was to validate the use of a turbidimeter for quantifying clay released from soil and to relate this back to dispersive parameters. Ten Australian soils with different physicochemical properties were studied. Six-step dilution was used to adjust the clay suspensions sequentially by dilution from a datum concentration of 4000 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). The linearity of turbidity by dilution was verified, considering the effects of soil color and mean particle size. There was a strong correlation between turbidity (NTU) and dispersed clay (mg L-1, % of soil) for each soil. Clay particle size was related to turbidity response, although the coefficients between turbidity and dispersed clay were very close irrespective of mean particle size differences. Dispersed clay was concluded to be accurately quantified using a turbidimeter after spontaneous and mechanical dispersion. A semi-quantitative dispersion assessment chart was developed for rapid assessment of soil structural stability, the application of which is intended to provide rapid diagnosis and to act as an important index for soil management practitioners. Additionally, when dispersed clay was combined with electrical conductivity and clay content parameters, the dispersive indices (cation ratio of soil structural stability and exchangeable dispersive percentage) were reasonably predicted at a resolution useful for farm management decisions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2017 05:04
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 05:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: CROSS; cation ratio of soil structural stability; EC; electrical conductivity; EDP; exchangeable dispersive percentage; ESP; exchangeable sodium percentage; NTU; nephelometric turbidity units; SAR; sodium adsorption ratio
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050305 Soil Physics
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4106 Soil sciences > 410605 Soil physics
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961499 Soils not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2016.07.0222
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30296

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