3797 / Disturbed and naturally recovered soil surface as a ground for subsequent vehicle mobility...

Paper presented at the 16th European-African Regional Conference of the ISTVS


Title: Disturbed and naturally recovered soil surface as a ground for subsequent vehicle mobility operations

Authors: Kersti Vennik

Abstract: The passages for off-road military vehicles will leave behind disturbed soil conditions because vehicles compact and displace the layers of soil. One of the first visual signs of disturbance are ruts. Thus, former active combat areas can have a serious effect on subsequent operations and the mobility of vehicles. More precisely, an uneven soil surface will remarkably increase the vibration of travelling vehicles and over-compacted soil layers affect soil water dynamics that, in turn, have a long-lasting effect on soil strength. Previous studies have revealed that disturbed conditions can affect the physical parameters of soil for decades. Nevertheless, soil can naturally recover from being disturbed thanks to freezing-thawing cycles, wetting-drying cycles, and biological activity. However, the rate of recovery depends on the physical parameters of soil. The objective of this study was to monitor and summarize the natural recovery rate of soils with different texture and organic material content. As an experiment, we carried out a single pass and repeated passes with a military truck (total weight of 70 kN). The ruts that formed were monitored and soil samples were collected up to 2.5 years after wheeling. Measurements in the field included rut depth determination, penetrometer and bulk density as well as field-saturated hydraulic conductivity measurements. The results about the rate and severity of natural recovery on different soils are presented and discussed herein, including the overall conclusions about mobility conditions for follow-on military operations.

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