Table of Contents
ISRN Soil Science
Volume 2013, Article ID 418586, 8 pages
Research Article

Variability of Soil Physical Properties in a Clay-Loam Soil and Its Implication on Soil Management Practices

Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Sciences, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029, USA

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 17 November 2013

Academic Editors: R. K. Kolka and H. O. Liechty

Copyright © 2013 Samuel I. Haruna and Nsalambi V. Nkongolo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We assessed the spatial variability of soil physical properties in a clay-loam soil cropped to corn and soybean. The study was conducted at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Soil samples were taken at four depths: 0–10 cm, 10–20, 20–40, and 40–60 cm and were oven dried at 105°C for 72 hours. Bulk density (BDY), volumetric (VWC) and gravimetric (GWC) water contents, volumetric air content (VAC), total pore space (TPS), air-filled (AFPS) and water-filled (WFPS) pore space, the relative gas diffusion coefficient (DIFF), and the pore tortuosity factor (TORT) were calculated. Results showed that, in comparison to depth 1, means for AFPS, Diff, TPS, and VAC decreased in Depth 2. Opposingly, BDY, Tort, VWC, and WFPS increased in depth 2. Semivariogram analysis showed that GWC, VWC, BDY, and TPS in depth 2 fitted to an exponential variogram model. The range of spatial variability () for BDY, TPS, VAC, WFPS, AFPS, DIFF, and TORT was the same (25.77 m) in depths 1 and 4, suggesting that these soil properties can be sampled together at the same distance. The analysis also showed the presence of a strong (≤25%) to weak (>75%) spatial dependence for soil physical properties.