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Steps towards the measurement and modelling of soil crusts


Hardie, M and Almajmaie, A, Steps towards the measurement and modelling of soil crusts, National Soil Science Conference 2018, 18-23 November 2018, Canberra, Australia (2018) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2018 Soil Science Society of Australia Inc

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Soil crusting is a global issue which results in reduced infiltration, runoff, erosion, reduced seedling emergence, poor irrigation efficiency, and difficulty with crop-soil modelling. Soil crusts are thin transient soil-surface layers that are less porous than the material immediately beneath them. Their formation results in considerable modification to the physical properties of the soil surface including lower porosity, high bulk density, reduced size and continuity of macropores and lower degree of aggregation, compared to the underlying bulk soil (Hussein, et al., 2010; Miralles-Mellado, et al., 2011). Surface crusts control infiltration processes and thus play a critical role in partitioning rainfall into infiltration and runoff.

Despite the obvious importance of soil crusts on hydrological process few crop simulation models, catchment hydrological models or soil hydrological models explicitly include soil crust routines. Of the models that do account for crusting many simply use generic USDA curve numbers to arbitrarily partition rainfall into runoff and infiltration based on generic soil type and surface condition. Currently no model considers the soil crust to be a spatially explicit soil layer possessing unique soil water retention and hydraulic conductivity properties as described by van Genuchten-Mualem parameters. This lack of routines for simulating the occurrence of soil crusts is in large part due to limited understanding of the effects of crusting on soil pore size and function, and by a lack of in situ and laboratory approaches for measuring the physical properties of soil crusts.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:soil, crusting, hydrology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Soil sciences
Research Field:Soil physics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity
UTAS Author:Hardie, M (Mr Marcus Hardie)
UTAS Author:Almajmaie, A (Mr Abbas Almajmaie)
ID Code:128777
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2018-10-12
Last Modified:2020-04-02
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