STRUDEL: Soil STRUcture Degradation Evaluation for Environmental Legislation

This presentation (in English) gives a short overview of the main STRUDEL outcomes: reference values for soil physical protection and the methodology to obtain them. The presentation starts with explaining the aim of the project, the reference value system for soil protection in Switzerland and the material and methods used during the project. The presentation also briefly explains why some reference values can be simple values, while other reference values need to take the form of linear equations taking in account the effect of soil constituents such as soil organic carbon. The methodology using visual evaluation of soil structure (VESS) to build reference values is presented, along with the method to test how performant a particular physical property is to diagnose soil structure quality.

Soil structure quality is a fundamental basis of most soil functions, including food production, water purification, flood regulation, nutrient cycling, habitat for organisms and carbon sequestration. Although soil structure quality is crucial for soil functioning, its importance is often ignored. This is because soil structure is very difficult to investigate and assess and most of us are not trained how to evaluate it. For the same reasons, soil structure protection is difficult to implement.

The STRUDEL project aims to provide reference values for the protection of soil structure, as well as simple methods for measuring soil structure requiring very little yet easily available equipment. Reference values for soil structure quality are to be included in the next release of the Ordinance on Impacts on the Soil (OIS). The methods are especially useful for cantonal soil protection services in the diagnosis of compaction, where soil structure parameters must be determined precisely, and as threshold values for interpreting these parameters.

The video at the top explains how to perform a visual evaluation of soil structure quality in the field, using the VESS2020 scoring sheet.

This video explains

  • how to take a soil sample with a Zante sampler or with a simple spade;
  • how to easily measure gravimetric air and water content of these soil samples at standard matric potential, including determining the sample volume with the plastic bag method; and
  • how to perform a visual evaluation of soil sample structure with CoreVESS.

Last modification 10.09.2021

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