, Volume 183, Issue 1-4, pp 381-394
Date: 04 Mar 2011

Soil tillage erosion estimated by using magnetism of soils—a case study from Bulgaria

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A detailed field and laboratory study on small 0.84-ha test site of agricultural land near Sofia (Bulgaria) has been carried out in order to test the applicability of magnetic methods in soil erosion estimation in the particular case of strongly magnetic parent material. Field measurements of magnetic susceptibility were carried out with grid size of 6 m, resulting in 258 data points. Bulk soil material was gathered from 78 grid points. Natural, non-disturbed soil section was sampled near the agricultural field for reference profile of complete undisturbed soil. Surface susceptibility measurements reveal well-defined maxima down slope which, however, cannot be assigned directly to a certain depth interval, corresponding with susceptibilities along the non-disturbed soil profile. This is caused by the high magnetic susceptibility of the lithogenic coarse-grained magnetic fraction. Non-uniqueness is resolved by using magnetic susceptibility of coarse (1 mm > d > 63 μm) and fine (d < 63 μm) mechanical fractions and the parameter Δχ = 100*(χ coarse − χ fine)/χ bulk (%). It shows increased values in the C-horizon of undisturbed soil profile, which corresponds to a certain part of the studied area. After the application of an empirical model to predict the values of magnetic parameter after tillage homogenization and removal of soil material from the surface, the amount of soil loss is estimated.