Soil organic carbon and fly-ash distributions in eroded phases of soils in Illinois and Russia

K. R. Olson, R. L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics are affected by tillage, soil erosion and depositional processes. The objectives of this paper are to evaluate soil organic carbon and fly-ash distribution methods for identifying eroded phases of soils in Illinois and Russia and quantifying the extent of soil loss from erosion. The effect of accelerated erosion on soils is recorded on National Cooperative Soil Survey maps as phases of soil series that reflect the percentage of the original A horizon materials remaining. Identification depends on knowledge of the original A horizon thicknesses, SOC and fly-ash contents at uncultivated and uneroded sites when determining erosion phases of soil at cultivated and eroded sites. However, locating uncultivated and uneroded comparison sites with similar landscape and slope characteristics can be difficult. The amount of A horizon materials within the plow layers (Ap horizons) or topsoils are often determined by soil colors which reflect the SOC contents. Soil erosion phases based on original A horizon materials remaining in the topsoils may underestimate the extent of soil losses from topsoils and subsoils, particularly where soils have been cultivated for hundreds of years and are severely eroded. The SOC contents and soil erosion phases can be affected by losses or gains of organic C-rich sediments from tillage translocation and erosion, by management input level differences, oxidation, or as a result of land use and landscape position variations. Fly-ash was found to be more stable and act as a better indicator of soil erosion phase than SOC content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalSoil and Tillage Research
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Keywords

  • Cultivation
  • Fly-ash
  • Soil erosion
  • Soil loss
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Tillage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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