Depth to the argillic horizon on historically farmed soil in the southeastern USA piedmont:
Ryland, Rachel Carolan
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Throughout the Piedmont of the southeastern USA erosion has transported soil from ridgeline to lower landscape positions. Variations in the depth-to-argillic horizon created by erosion were compared between hillslopes largely undisturbed by agriculture and those with agricultural disturbances. Current patterns in the depth-to-argillic were quantified using soil boring, tile push probe, and electromagnetic induction. Soil boring and tile push showed approximately 40 cm more soil in the lower hillslope on historically farmed land. The depth-to-argillic horizon was predicted using geophysical outputs and regression kriging with 69 % confidence. These data along with saturated hydraulic conductivity measures parameterize hillslope models to investigate variation in topsoil thickness on interflow processes and found that an increase in topsoil depth in lower slope positions may alter lower slope water storage and the hydrologic gradient driving interflow. This research introduces a geophysical method for high resolution soil mapping on previously eroded, forested landscapes.