Pedosphere 33(5): 754--764, 2023
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2023 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Viscoelasticity and shear resistance at the aggregate scale of structured and organic carbon-free Chernozems
Christoph HAAS1, Rainer HORN1, Philipp SAGGAU2, Rainer DUTTMANN2
1 Institute for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, University of Kiel, Kiel 24118(Germany);
2 Department of Geography, Division of Landscape Ecology and Geoinformation Sciences, University of Kiel, Kiel 24118(Germany)
Corresponding Author:Christoph HAAS
ABSTRACT
      Soil rheology characterises the flow behaviour of soils at the particle-particle to aggregate scale. Amplitude sweep tests (ASTs) are often the method of choice for parameterizing soil flow properties, such as the shear strain values at the end of the linear viscoelastic range (i.e., the deformation is mainly elastic) and at the yield point (i.e., elastic equals plastic deformation). Samples from seven soil profiles and five soil depths of Chernozems, collected in the Maidanetske study area, close to Uman City of Ukraine, were analysed to evaluate the effect of soil organic carbon (SOC) on the parameters related to soil microstructural stability derived from ASTs. Soil organic carbon was removed with H2O2 to determine the soil texture-dependent values of soil rheological properties, which were compared to the values determined for samples with intact water-stable aggregates. The shear resistance-related parameters increased for aggregated soil samples compared to SOC-free soil samples, indicating an increase in soil stability due to SOC. In contrast, the values of the overall viscoelasticity and the shear strain were reduced for aggregated soil samples, indicating decreased soil stability. Pedotransfer functions were applied to predict the shear strain-dependent loss and storage moduli and shear stress values as a function of SOC depletion. Coarse particles (630-2 000 μm) and volumetric water content improved the models. We conclude that increased SOC content, through the gluing and cementing effects of SOC and altered aggregate shapes compared to SOC-free soil materials, contributes to higher microstructural strength. However, the increased water content in the SOC-containing soil samples reversed soil strengthening effect. This was due to the fact that a more rapid increase in positive water pressure under shear stress weakened the samples and the spherical aggregates began to rotate more easily, thus loosing energy, when compared to platy particles of the SOC-free soil materials.
Key Words:  aggregation,rheology,shear strain,shear stress,soil organic carbon depletion,soil stability
Citation: Haas C, Horn R, Saggau P, Duttmann R. 2023. Viscoelasticity and shear resistance at the aggregate scale of structured and organic carbon-free Chernozems. Pedosphere. 33(5): 754-764.
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