Selected morphological characteristics of soils from Gezira Vertisols, with particular reference to cracking
E.A. Elias 1
F.M. Salih 2
A.A. Salih 2
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Water Management and Irrigation Institute, University of Gezira, P.O. Box 20, Wad Medani, Sudan
Land and Water Research Center, Agricultural Research Corporation, Wad Medani, Sudan
Institut für Ökologie und Biologie, TechnischeUniversität Berlin, Salzufer 11-12, 10587 Berlin, Germany
Acceptance date: 2001-02-02
Int. Agrophys. 2001, 15(2): 79–86
Three sites from the Vertisols of the central clay plains of Sudan representing northern, central and southern Gezira were examined in the field for different morphological characteristics at the end of the dry season. Trends of gradual changes in the soil morphological properties were observed as one moved from the North to the South in the region. Intensity of cracking increased, content of CaCO3 and gypsum decreased and the size of prisms that form the prismatic structure increased from the North to the South. Similar trends were observed for soil colour, root distribution, contents of mineral fragments and soil acidity. It is suggested that these differences are related to the soil clay content and moisture regime. Approximated calculations of the volume of cracks based on the field measurements of these dimensions were made. It was also possible to study soil cracking behaviour between two irrigation treatments in the central Gezira. A non-crop condition was used in this study, as the pattern of cracking was followed only between two watering events on the bare soil.