Assessing soil aggregate stability by water drop impact and ultrasonic dispersion

Imeson, A.C.; Vis, M.

Geoderma 34(3-4): 185-200


ISSN/ISBN: 0016-7061
DOI: 10.1016/0016-7061(84)90038-7
Accession: 004786209

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Simple procedures for estimating soil aggregate stability by the water-drop method and ultrasonic dispersion are compared for a wide range of soils from Colombia, Kenya, Lesotho, Luxembourg and Spain. For both methods, 2 test procedures are compared. All of the procedures give similar results. For the most unstable soils, the simple form of the water-drop test provides the best resolution, but this procedure is not suitable for the more stable soils. The longer water-drop and low-energy ultrasound procedures apparently do not produce different amounts of breakdown products in the size-fractions examined. Aggregate disruption by wet sieving also produced a similar size range of breakdown products. Recommendations are made concerning the most appropriate test for soils similar to those tested. Both water-drop impact and ultrasonic dispersion procedures were consistent and reproducible.