Hydrophysical properties of Humic Latosols from Brazil
 
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1
Department of Soil Science, Federal University of Lavras, Caixa Postal 3037, CEP:37200-000 Lavras MG, Brazil
2
Institute for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Olshausenstraße 40, 24118 Kiel, Germany
3
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure Ondo State, Nigeria
Publish date: 2014-11-30
 
Int. Agrophys. 2014, 28(4): 395–402
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ABSTRACT
The hydrophysical properties of the prevalent Humic Latosols (organic matter rich and charcoal stained soils) were related to structural sustainability under loading. Intact cores collected at the Ap, AB, Bw horizons were used for hydrophysical characterization. Precompression stresses at 10 suctions were obtained to estimate the load bearing capacities. We observed the dominance of kaolinite with some occurrences of gibbsite and hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite in the clay mineralogy. The high organic matter content in the Ap horizon favours crumb structure with the structural unit presenting high porosity and water retention. The structure of the AB and Bw horizons was, however, granular with structural units having low porosity. Possible influence of earlier incidences of fire enhanced the organic matter and carbon content in the soil reducing down the profile from 42.5 g kg-1 at the Ap to 16.4 g kg-1 at the Bw horizon. The C/N ratio increased from 14 at the Ap to 17 at the Bw, and air capacity increased from 18.1% at Ap to 32.0% at Bw. Precompression stress values were: 100.6±40.7 kPa at Ap, 117.4±44.6 kPa at AB, and 116.1±58.9 kPa at Bw. Load bearing capacities at the AB and Bw horizons were homogenous.
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