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Bimodal Zone of the Soil Textural Triangle: Common in Tropical and Subtropical Regions

Abstract : The USDA soil textural triangle shows a zone where soils have a low silt fraction compared with the fractions of sand and clay. These soils have a particle-size distribution function showing two local maxima in weight percentage for the particle-size ranges of sand and clay. The soils are referred to as bimodal soils, with an associated bimodal zone in the soil textural triangle. It was shown that processes of pedogenesis in tropical and subtropical regions favor the generation of bimodal soils. Data from the Maheshwaram watershed in South India (subtropical), the Ouémé watershed in Bénin (subhumid), and soil databases established for (sub)tropical regions confirmed that bimodal soils are common in (sub)tropical climates. These results were backed up by the fact that sample populations of bimodal soils are underrepresented in databases such as UNSODA, GRIZZLY, or the Soil Information System of the Netherlands, all three of which contain soils mainly from temperate regions. The consequences of bimodal soil behavior are important. The hydrodynamic flow behavior of these soils should be different from that of monomodal soils. The concept of shape similarity between the cumulative particle-size distribution curve and the water retention curve, validated for monomodal soils, implies that bimodal soils should theoretically exhibit bimodal hydraulic properties. These consequences are far reaching since most of the soil hydraulic models in the literature are monomodal and hence inadequate to describe the hydraulic behavior of bimodal soils from (sub)tropical regions.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 9:41:07 AM
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Devaraj de Condappa, Sylvie Galle, Benoît Dewandel, Randel Haverkamp. Bimodal Zone of the Soil Textural Triangle: Common in Tropical and Subtropical Regions. Soil Science Society of America Journal, Soil Science Society of America, 2008, 72 (1), pp.33 à 40. ⟨10.2136/sssaj2006.0343⟩. ⟨insu-00388655⟩



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