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Article

Wheel Load and Wheel Pass Frequency as Indicators for Soil Compaction Risk: A Four-Year Analysis of Traffic Intensity at Field Scale

1
Department of Geography, Christian-Albrechts-University, Ludewig-Meyn-Straße 14, 24118 Kiel, Germany
2
Institute of Agricultural Technology, Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Bundesallee 47, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(8), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080292
Received: 7 July 2020 / Revised: 21 July 2020 / Accepted: 31 July 2020 / Published: 31 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Degradation: Salinization, Compaction, and Erosion)
Avoiding soil compaction is one of the objectives to ensure sustainable agriculture. Subsoil compaction in particular can be irreversible. Frequent passages by (increasingly heavy) agricultural machinery are one trigger for compaction. The aim of this work is to map and analyze the extent of traffic intensity over four years. The analysis is made for complete seasons and individual operations. The traffic intensity is distinguished into areas with more than five wheel passes, more than 5 Mg and 3 Mg wheel load. From 2014 to 2018, 63 work processes on a field were recorded and the wheel load and wheel passes were modeled spatially with FiTraM. Between 82% (winter wheat) and 100% (sugar beet) of the total infield area is trafficked during a season. The sugar beet season has the highest intensities. High intensities of more than five wheel passes and more than 5 Mg wheel load occur mainly during harvests in the headland. At wheel load ≥3 Mg, soil tillage also stresses the headland. In summary, no work process stays below one of the upper thresholds set. Based on the results, the importance of a soil-conserving management becomes obvious in order to secure the soil for agriculture in a sustainable way. View Full-Text
Keywords: traffic intensity; soil compaction; wheel passes; wheel load; soil degradation; cropland traffic intensity; soil compaction; wheel passes; wheel load; soil degradation; cropland
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MDPI and ACS Style

Augustin, K.; Kuhwald, M.; Brunotte, J.; Duttmann, R. Wheel Load and Wheel Pass Frequency as Indicators for Soil Compaction Risk: A Four-Year Analysis of Traffic Intensity at Field Scale. Geosciences 2020, 10, 292. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080292

AMA Style

Augustin K, Kuhwald M, Brunotte J, Duttmann R. Wheel Load and Wheel Pass Frequency as Indicators for Soil Compaction Risk: A Four-Year Analysis of Traffic Intensity at Field Scale. Geosciences. 2020; 10(8):292. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080292

Chicago/Turabian Style

Augustin, Katja, Michael Kuhwald, Joachim Brunotte, and Rainer Duttmann. 2020. "Wheel Load and Wheel Pass Frequency as Indicators for Soil Compaction Risk: A Four-Year Analysis of Traffic Intensity at Field Scale" Geosciences 10, no. 8: 292. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080292

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