Publication Details

Physical properties of organic soils. Chapter 5.

Verry, Elon S.; Boelter, Don H.; Paivanen, Juhani; Nichols, Dale S.; Malterer, Tom; Gafni, Avi

Year Published

2011

Publication

In: Kolka, Randall K.; Sebestyen, Stephen D.; Verry, Elon S.; Brooks,Kenneth N., eds. Peatland biogeochemistry and watershed hydrology at the Marcell Experimental Forest. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press: 135-176.

Abstract

Compared with research on mineral soils, the study of the physical properties of organic soils in the United States is relatively new. A comprehensive series of studies on peat physical properties were conducted by Don Boelter (1959-1975), first at the Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) and later throughout the northern Lakes States to investigate how to express bulk density (~ weight or volume basis), water retention characteristics, hydraulic conductivity (K), fiber content, specific yield (drainable porosity), and the degree of decomposition (pyrophosphate test). A graduate student spent nearly a year at the MEF to learn the techniques developed there. Together, the data of Boelter and the graduate student represent one of the largest examinations of the physical properties of peat. After 1975, physical-property studies continued at MEF including a detailed examination of fiber contents in Lake State organic soils, a comparison of international methods for physical properties, and a comparison of the piezometer and salt-dilution methods for hydraulic conductivity. In this chapter we present the peat physical properties, compare methods, and describe how to use physical peat data in lateral-extent equations to evaluate the effect of drainage in peatlands.

Citation

Verry, Elon S.; Boelter, Don H.; Paivanen, J.; Nichols, Dale S.; Malterer, T.; Gafni, A. 2011. Physical properties of organic soils. In: Kolka, Randall K.; Sebestyen, Stephen D.; Verry, Elon S.; Brooks,Kenneth N., eds. Peatland biogeochemistry and watershed hydrology at the Marcell Experimental Forest. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press: 135-176.

Last updated on: September 24, 2012