Effects of freeze-thaw cycles on soil structure under algal crust-covered conditions

Institute of Soil and Water Conservation,Northwest A F University

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    [Objective] In order to study the effects of biological crustal cover and freeze-thaw on soil structure. [Methods] The effects of different freeze-thaw times, initial soil water content before freeze-thaw and biological crusting (algae crust) cover on soil structure characteristics were analyzed by using the indoor simulated freeze-thaw method. [Results] (1) The soil structure index (IGSS) obtained by orthogonal experiment was between 75.57~96.57, the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) was between 37.55~39.70dB, and the optimal combination of factors determined by the Taguchi method was 15 freeze-thaw cycles, 15% initial water content, and 80% algal crust coverage, and the predicted results were IGSS=98.09, S/N=39.89dB. (2) IGSS was positively correlated with freeze-thaw times, initial water content and algal crusting coverage, and the main effects of each factor on soil structure index were initial water content> freeze-thaw times> algal crusting coverage. The contribution rates of each factor to the change of soil structure index were initial water content (52.17%)> freeze-thaw frequency (31.95%)> algae crusting coverage (2.12%). (3) The change of soil structure index comes from the loss of soil water and pore expansion during the freeze-thaw process, and algae crusting can slow down the loss of water during the freeze-thaw process, thereby slowing down the IGSS change. [Conclusion] In this study, orthogonal experiments were used to discuss the effect of algae crusting cover on soil structure under freeze-thaw conditions, and the results could provide a theoretical reference for the study of soil freeze-thaw process under complex conditions.

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  • Received:May 29,2023
  • Revised:July 26,2023
  • Adopted:August 29,2023
  • Online: January 16,2024
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