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Soil Science Society of America Journal : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest soil science research. Articles are compiled into bimonthly issues at, which includes the complete archive. Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Nouwakpo, S. K. and C.-H. Huang. 2012. A Fluidized Bed Technique for Estimating Soil Critical Shear Stress Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. doi:10.2136/sssaj2012.0056

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Current issue: Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 79(2)


    • Martin E. Brummell, Amanda Guy and Steven D. Siciliano
      Does Diapirism Influence Greenhouse Gas Production on Patterned Ground in the High Arctic?

      There are unusual patterns of greenhouse gas (GHG) net production in soil profiles of Arctic polar deserts. These deserts include frost boils that are symptomatic of permafrost-associated soils. Some frost boils contain diapirs, intrusions of recently thawed, carbon- and water-rich fine material pushed upward into the overlying active layer. Here we identified diapir-associated frost boils in an Arctic polar desert that we had previously found to have highly variable patterns of GHG net production, and compared patterns of GHG net production in soil profiles between diapir and non-diapir frost boils. (continued)

      Published: March 27, 2015


    • J. Vermang, L.D. Norton, C. Huang, W.M. Cornelis, A.M. da Silva and D. Gabriels
      Characterization of Soil Surface Roughness Effects on Runoff and Soil Erosion Rates under Simulated Rainfall

      This study aims at identifying the influence of soil surface roughness from small to large aggregates (random roughness) on runoff and soil loss and to investigate the interaction with soil surface seal formation. Bulk samples of a silty clay loam soil were sieved to four aggregate-size classes of 3 to 12, 12 to 20, 20 to 45, 45 to 100 mm, and packed in soil trays set at a 5% slope. Rainfall simulations using an oscillating nozzle simulator were conducted for 90 min at an average rainfall intensity of 50.2 mm h−1. Soil surface roughness was measured using an instantaneous profile laser scanner and surface sealing was studied by macroscopic analysis of epoxy impregnated soil samples. (continued)

      Published: April 10, 2015

    • L. Wang and Z.H. Shi
      Size Selectivity of Eroded Sediment Associated with Soil Texture on Steep Slopes

      Sediment selectivity during transport may provide basic information for evaluating on-site and off-site impacts of soil erosion. Rainfall simulation experiments were performed to investigate the effects of soil texture and aggregation on sediment particle size distributions (PSDs) in rill and interrill erosion material. Four soils with decreasing clay content were selected and subjected to simulated rainfall with an intensity of 120 mm h−1 on three steep slopes (15, 20, and 25°). A comparison of the sediment effective PSD (undispersed) and ultimate PSD (dispersed) for the four soils revealed that clay-sized particles were prone to transport as aggregates. (continued)

      Published: March 27, 2015


    • Andrew J. Margenot, Francisco J. Calderón, Timothy M. Bowles, Sanjai J. Parikh and Louise E. Jackson
      Soil Organic Matter Functional Group Composition in Relation to Organic Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Fractions in Organically Managed Tomato Fields

      The objectives of this study were to examine soil organic matter (SOM) functional group composition and its relationship to labile SOM fractions with diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS). We analyzed soils from 13 organically managed tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fields in northern California for labile organic C, N, and P fractions and by DRIFTS for bands representing organic functional groups, including aliphatic C-H (2924, 2850, 1470, 1405, 1390 cm-1), aromatic C=C (1650 cm-1) and C-H (920, 840 cm-1), polysaccharide and phenol C-O (1270, 1110, 1080 cm-1), and amine and amide N-H (3400, 1575 cm-1). Significant differences in relative band intensities occurred among the 13 organic tomato fields, in particular a relative increase in absorbance of bands representing aliphatic C-H positively associated with soil organic carbon (SOC), as well as permanganate-oxidizable carbon (POXC), extractable organic carbon (EOC) and nitrogen (EON), and potentially mineralizable N (PMN). In comparison, organic P fractions like sodium bicarbonate extractable (NaHCO3–Po) and sodium hydroxide extractable organic P (NaOH-Po) were poorly associated with SOC and functional groups represented by bands, including aliphatic C-H. (continued)

      Published: April 17, 2015

    • Jessica G. Ernakovich, Matthew D. Wallenstein and F.J. Calderón
      Chemical Indicators of Cryoturbation and Microbial Processing throughout an Alaskan Permafrost Soil Depth Profile

      Although permafrost soils contain vast stores of organic C, relatively little is known about the chemical composition of their constituent soil organic matter (SOM). Mineral permafrost and organic (OAL) and mineral active layer (MAL) soils from Sagwon Hills, AK were analyzed for total C and N content and SOM chemical composition using Fourier transformed mid-infrared spectroscopy (MidIR). We also investigated techniques for proper collection of MidIR spectra on high C soils, such as permafrost. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of the MidIR spectra revealed that the OAL was different from the MAL and permafrost based on absorbance of various organic functional groups, such as hydroxyls, alkyls, carbonyls, amines, amides, and esters. (continued)

      Published: March 27, 2015

    • Ting-Ting Fan, Yu-Jun Wang, Cheng-Bao Li, Dong-Mei Zhou and Shmulik P. Friedman
      Effects of Soil Organic Matter on Sorption of Metal Ions on Soil Clay Particles

      Wien effect measurements were used to study the effect of organic matter on the interactions between divalent cations and soil clay particles of two black soil samples containing organic matter (OM) at 54.4 and 12.3 g kg−1 in the top (0–20-cm) and bottom (100–120-cm) horizons, respectively, and a sample of OM-free black soil, all saturated with Cd2+, Cu2+, Pb2+, and with Ca2+ as a reference cation. The weak-field electrical conductivities of suspensions of the top and bottom horizons and OM-free black soil samples were 0.021 to 0.033, 0.011 to 0.021, and 0.0065 to 0.0082 mS cm−1, respectively. The mean free binding energies of the cations in the same soil sample suspensions were 5.5 to 7.3, 7.3 to 9.3, and 9.6 to 10 kJ mol−1, respectively. The mean free adsorption energies of all cations increased with field strength and were in the order OM-free > bottom horizon > top horizon. (continued)

      Published: March 20, 2015

    • Michael E. Essington and Kalyn A. Vergeer
      Adsorption of Antimonate, Phosphate, and Sulfate by Manganese Dioxide: Competitive Effects and Surface Complexation Modeling

      Antimony is a co-contaminant with Pb in shooting range soils. The in situ immobilization of Pb in these soils may be accomplished through the application of PO4. However, the impact of this treatment on the mobility and bioaccessibility of Sb is unknown. Further, the ability to predict Sb fate and behavior in contaminated soils, or as influenced by treatment technologies, has not been suitably developed. (continued)

      Published: March 20, 2015


    • Barry J. Allred, Glenn O. Brown and Luis R. Martinez
      Laboratory Investigation of Boundary Condition Impacts on Nitrate Anion Exclusion in an Unsaturated Soil

      Transient unsaturated horizontal column experiments were conducted with a loam soil, under variable boundary conditions, to obtain added insight on nitrate (NO3) anion exclusion processes. The boundary conditions evaluated were column inlet soil water content (θ0), initial soil water content (θi), column inlet soil solution NO3–N concentration (C0), and the initial soil solution NO3 concentration (Ci). Results consistent with significant anion exclusion of NO3 were exhibited in all experiments. For tests with NO3 solution injected at the column inlet, the soil solution NO3 concentration at the inlet was found to be 12 to 19% less than the injected NO3 concentration. (continued)

      Published: April 17, 2015

    • Raquel Stucchi Boschi, Luiz Henrique Antunes Rodrigues and Maria Leonor R. C. Lopes-Assad
      Analysis of Patterns of Pedotransfer Function Estimates: An Approach Based on Classification Trees

      Patterns in the errors of three pedotransfer functions (PTFs) for estimating water retention at −10 and −1500 kPa were investigated using a data set of Brazilian soils. Of the three PTFs, one was developed using soils from temperate regions, one using soils from different tropical areas, and one was specifically based on Brazilian soils. We used classification tree models to obtain rules that represent patterns in PTF errors, reflecting differences between measured and predicted water content values. These errors were classified as acceptable or unacceptable according to a defined threshold. (continued)

      Published: April 17, 2015

    • Alan J. Schlegel, Yared Assefa, H. Dewayne Bond, Scott M. Wetter and Loyd R. Stone
      Soil Physicochemical Properties after 10 Years of Animal Waste Application

      Application of animal waste to cropland provides a method of waste disposal and benefits both soil and crops. The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of land application of animal waste and inorganic fertilizer on selected soil chemical and physical properties. The animal waste applications were conducted from 1999 through 2008 near Tribune, KS, with 10 treatments (three levels each of cattle manure and swine effluent [P, N, and 2N], three levels of N fertilizer, and a control). Soil chemical and physical properties were measured to evaluate the effect of 10 yr of application of these treatments. (continued)

      Published: April 10, 2015

    • Sally D. Logsdon
      Event- and Site-Specific Soil Wetting and Seasonal Change in Amount of Soil Water

      Changes in the amount of soil water might not be uniform due to spatially variable soil and landscape factors. The objective of this study was to determine if the changes in the amount of soil water due to rain or during sub-seasonal times are related to soil or landscape properties within a field. Sub-seasonal changes in soil water were indicated by neutron probe data and surface soil sampling, and rain-event-driven soil water increases were indicated by water content reflectometers (WCRs). Excess rainfall in 2010 resulted in wet soil and surface ponding at some sites. (continued)

      Published: April 3, 2015


    • X. Xiao, X. Zhang, T. Ren, R. Horton and J.L. Heitman
      Thermal Property Measurement Errors with Heat-Pulse Sensors Positioned near a Soil–Air Interface

      Heat-pulse sensor measurements analyzed with pulsed infinite line source (PILS) theory have been widely used to measure soil properties. The PILS theory assumes that the measured soil medium is uniform and infinite. When the sensors are positioned near the soil surface, the effects of the heterogeneity associated with the soil–air interface should not be ignored. In 1999, Philip and Kluitenberg (PK99) proposed an analytical solution using an instantaneous heating model to analyze the effects of the soil–air interface on soil thermal property measurements with heat-pulse sensors. (continued)

      Published: April 17, 2015

    • Haojie Liu and Bernd Lennartz
      Visualization of Flow Pathways in Degraded Peat Soils Using Titanium Dioxide

      Dye tracing is a valuable method for studying the flow patterns in soils. However, limited information is available on water flow and solute transport pathways in dark-colored peat soils because the frequently used Brilliant Blue FCF dye does not visibly stain the soil. In this study, we were aiming at testing the suitability of TiO2 as a dye tracer for dark peat soils. The dye tracer experiments were conducted in differently degraded peat soils by applying a TiO2 suspension (average particle size 0.3 μm; 10 g L−1) in a pulse of 40 mm. (continued)

      Published: April 3, 2015

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