Novel Approach in Sampling and Tensile Strength Evaluation of Roots to Enhance Soil for Preventing Erosion

Shaurav Alam, Ashlesh Banjara, Jay Wang, William B. Patterson, Sujan Baral
2018 Open Journal of Soil Science  
This paper presents novel approaches to address the complex issues associated with preservation, transportation, and tensile testing of the vegetation root samples needed for the enhancement of soil and prevent erosion. Readily availability of no equipment for in-situ assessment of the roots' contribution to soil strength forces the researchers to transport the root samples to the lab for testing and estimating the contribution to the soil shear strength. Moreover, the standard procedures and
more » ... rd procedures and apparatuses available in the public domain are regrettably suitable for testing of relatively stiffer materials. Therefore, conducting the tensile test of roots using off-the-shelf equipment often causes premature failure of the soft tissues and produces an erratic result, which ultimately leads to unrealistic soil shear strength. The experimental work replaced the traditional jaw type grips by innovative 3D-printed mold or metal ring with silicone, epoxy, and hot-glue to ensure a minimal degree of damage to the roots. Other scopes of the study include a comparison between fresh and refrigerated samples, the effect of sample storage temperature, pH, and Optimum Effective Root Area (OERA) per unit area of soil. Initial study conducted on the Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) roots involved comparison for different approaches based on the gripping technic to select the best method. Finally, the paper included the results of tensile strength test performed on Spartina alterniflora root samples following the suggested guidelines thus helping better evaluation of root embedded soil shear strength, enhancing the resistance against soil erosion, and conserving the ecosystem.
doi:10.4236/ojss.2018.812024 fatcat:5lzair7zcbacbgkfu6fz7ypl4y