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Erosion Control Toolbox
Planning & Design
Improve Soil Health
- Soil Rehabilitation
- Local Topsoil
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- Decompact Soil
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Decompact Soil Surface
What is This Treatment?
This work involves the loosening of compacted soils. Decompaction is typically performed by two methods:
- Via bulldozer-drawn winged subsoiller as seen in the top left-hand photo above. The bulldozer drawn winged subsoiler takes advantage of equipment commonly used to decompact soils for agriculture.
- Via tracked excavator equipped with a subsoiling grapple rake or subsoiling excavator bucket as seen in the right-hand photo above. Unlike bulldozer-drawn tilling, the subsoiling grapple rake raises the soil surface slightly and leaving only a small furrow on the surface. The grapple rake leaves the nutrient-rich surface layer largely intact, while allowing water, microscopic fungus and native plant roots to penetrate more deeply.
When to Use This Treatment:
Use on cut and fill slopes 3:1 and flatter. For specific maximum slope gradients, consult your geotechnical engineer.
- Use in flat areas where soils are highly compacted and require tilling to restore infiltration and water holding capacity.
Reduced stormwater runoff volume and velocity.
Improved infiltration rate.
Improved soil water holding capacity.
Improved soil structural properties - soil structure, porosity, and texture.
Improved plant rooting depth.
Improved potential for vigorous long term vegetation coverage.
- Nonstandard specification which requires approval from the Division of Construction.
More costly (yet more effective) than surficial treatments such as Erosion Control (Hydroseed).
May increase the cost of earthwork activities.
Requires site accessibility by earthwork equipment.
Not practical for shallow rocky soils.
Plans and Details:
- There is no Standard Plan for Decompact Soil Surface.
- There is no estimate information available for Decompact Soil Surface.
- There is no BEEs code for Decompact Soil Surface.
- David Steinfield, Scott Riley, Kim Wilkinson, Thomas D. Landis, Lee Riley, et al. 2007. "Roadside Revegetation, An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants" Accessed 2009-07-16
- Michael Hogan, 2009. "Sediment Source Control Handbook, An Adaptive Approach to Restoration of Disturbed Areas" Accessed 2009-07-16.
- Wendi Goldsmith, Marvin Silva, and Craig Fischenich. May 2001. Determining Optimal Degree of Soil Compaction for Balancing Mechanical Stability and Plant Growth Capacity.
- Donald Gray, 2002. Optimizing Soil Compaction and Other Strategies - Balancing engineering requirements and plant-growth needs in slope protection and erosion control work. Accessed 11-19-2013
" Taken as a whole, findings in the literature seem to suggest that compaction between 80% and 85% of the Standard Proctor maximum dry density provides many of the stabilizing benefits of soil compaction without jeopardizing the viability of vegetation development and growth. GLBDs or critical dry bulk densities can readily be compared to Standard Proctor maximum dry densities."
- Multipurpose Subsoiling Attachments New methods of soil decompaction developed by the Forest Service to cut costs and to ensure satisfactory results. These operations return of soil tilth (the physical condition of soil as related to its ease of tillage, fitness as a seedbed, and its impedance to seedling emergence and root penetration) to compacted soil.
Updated: April 14, 2014