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Type: Journal article
Title: 3D-visualization and analysis of macro- and meso-porosity of the upper horizons of a sodic, texture-contrast soil
Author: Jassogne, L.
McNeill, A.
Chittleborough, D.
Citation: European Journal of Soil Science, 2007; 58(3):589-598
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1351-0754
Statement of
L. Jassogne, A. McNeill & D. Chittleborough
Abstract: The lower E and upper B horizons of sodic, texture-contrast soils are a formidable barrier to most annual and many perennial crops. The research presented here is part of a wider study into the nature of subsoil constraints to root exploration. The aim of this study was to characterize in three dimensions the macro- and meso-porosity across the E horizon–Btn horizon interface of a sodic, texture-contrast soil using X-ray computed tomography (CT). Intact soil cores of 50-cm length and 15-cm diameter were scanned with a medical CT X-ray machine. The pore volume reconstructed from these scans had a resolution of 0.3 × 0.3 × 0.4 cm (in the x, y, z dimensions, respectively). This resolution allowed visualization and quantification of the macroporosity of the intact cores. Undisturbed samples of 1.5-cm diameter and 4-cm length were carefully excised from the interface and scanned with micro-CT X-ray equipment. The reconstructed pore volumes had an isotropic resolution of 19 μm that allowed analysis of the mesoporosity just on the boundary between the E and Btn horizons. Mesoporosity decreased across the interface and increased lower in the Btn horizon. The distribution of the pores at the macro- and meso-scales showed the importance of the smaller pores in the A and E horizons, whereas most of the porosity in the Btn horizon was attributed to the larger pores. Pores in this sodic, texture-contrast soil were not distributed homogeneously at either the macro- or meso-scale. A greater proportion of the pores in the E–B interface were horizontal than in the upper A1, upper E and lower Btn horizons. Some ‘coiling’ of the pores was also apparent in the interface. The shape of some pores (long tubular pores) suggested formation by roots as they drilled through the soil. The orientation of these pores was a function of physical (and possibly chemical) impedance at the interface.
Description: The definitive version is available at
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2389.2006.00849.x
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Environment Institute publications
Soil and Land Systems publications

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