Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2015, 63, 1211-1218
Published online 2015-09-02

Changes of Soil Aggregate Stability as a Result of the Effect of Freeze-thaw Cycles

Aneta Žabenská, Miroslav Dumbrovský

Institute of Landscape Water Management, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Žižkova 17, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic

The objective of the present research was to assess the changes in soil erodibility during the non-vegetation period as one of the factors affecting the snowmelt erosion. The temperature fluctuation was simulated with the use of a climatic chamber ex situ. The soil surface was for simplicity reasons considered without any plant or snow cover. The paper deals with the rate of soil erodibility determination – the soil erodibility should increase due to the decrease of soil aggregate stability depending on the number of freeze-thaw cycles and initial soil moisture. Soil samples (taken from three sites) were subjected to freeze-thaw cycles under laboratory conditions. Changes in soil agreggate stability were monitored as one of the main soil characteristics which determine the soil erodibility. Two methods were used to determine the soil macroaggregate stability (soil aggregate fraction 1–2 mm): standard single-sieve method of wet sieving (Kemper and Rosenau, 1986), and dry aggregate analysis using a set of flat sieves with a diameter of 1 mm and 0.5 mm. The results of each method are controversial. Intended hypothesis has not been clearly confirmed.


The paper was elaborated thanks to the project support MŠMT – FAST-J-13-2004 Cryopedological processes in relation to the snowmelt erosion, and NAZV Mze – QJ1320157 Erosion processes and their impact on the production ability of soils and erosion control measures in designing process of land consolidation. Great thanks go to Ing. Martin Brtnický (Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno) for providing the device for the determination of aggregate stability.


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