Compaction Effects on Soil Structure

Satish C. Gupta, Padam P. Sharma, Sergio A. DeFranchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the compaction effects structure on soil. Soil structure refers to the arrangement of primary soil particles into secondary particles or aggregates. Measurements that describe pore geometry include the water-retention-characteristic curve, permeability/infiltration rate, soil-water diffusivity, sorptivity, air permeability, and gas diffusion. With an increase in the level of compaction, the amount of water held at a high soil matric potential decreases, whereas the amount of water held at a low soil matric potential increases. The shift in water-retention-characteristic curves reflects a change in the relative proportion of soil pores. It is found that an increase in bulk density resulted in an increase in water retention and the magnitude of this effect increased with decreasing matric potential. The range of air content over which the diffusion coefficient is exponentially related to air content decreased with an increase in the level of compaction. This reflected a shift in the proportion of large to small pores during compaction. It is found that the degree of saturation at minimum pore water pressure increases with clay content and then levels off at a clay content between 30% and 40%. The mechanical stress corresponding to a minimum pore water pressure is also elaborated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-338
Number of pages28
JournalAdvances in Agronomy
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was supported by the Binational Agricultural Research Development Fund between the United States and Israel under Grant No. US-973-85 and by the International Agricultural Research Center (IARCS) Collaborative Research under grant No. USAID/ USDA 86CRSR--2-2899.


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