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Title: Relationships between sediment, moisture and soil crust characteristics in arid environments
Author: Kirk, Alastair James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3600 2727
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1997
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From a geomorphological point of view, and environments are characterised by complex process interactions and suites of landforms which can be sensitive to their controlling parameters. Relationships between sediment, moisture and soil crust characteristics are no exception. Field research and a programme of laboratory study were undertaken between 1993 and 1995 on the soils of the northern Badia of Jordan to advance knowledge on aspects of and zone soil dynamics, with a particular emphasis on crusting. The research focuses primarily on the effect soil crusts have upon the equilibrium of sediment dynamics at a hillslope scale and a ridge-furrow scale. The implications of the crust upon moisture storage within the surface layers of the soil are examined and the spatial characteristics which arise due to management practices and climate variables considered. A new, non-destructive dielectric technique to investigate moisture content in dryland soils has been developed and tested. Monitoring has taken place to examine the effects of irrigation upon the surface characteristics of the surrounding soil, with special reference to evaporation fluxes within a furrow and the associated precipitation of salts. The role of small-scale topography tends to be underestimated. Different types of crust have been studied from various topographic locations. Soil fabric and porosity have been studied, to increase understanding of micro-scale depositional and erosional processes. A new method of tracing' fine material through the upper soil profile has been developed. As crusts form, the tracer can be used to monitor the movement of fines, permitting a much clearer understanding of soil and water dynamics as a result of rainfall events.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Micromorphology; Topography; Soil porosity