A Simple Model of the Variability of Soil Depths
Published Web Locationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3390/w9070460
Soil depth tends to vary from a few centimeters to several meters, depending on many natural and environmental factors. We hypothesize that the cumulative effect of these factors on soil depth, which is chiefly dependent on the process of biogeochemical weathering, is particularly affected by soil porewater (i.e., solute) transport and infiltration from the land surface. Taking into account evidence for a non-Gaussian distribution of rock weathering rates, we propose a simple mathematical model to describe the relationship between soil depth and infiltration flux. The model was tested using several areas in mostly semi-arid climate zones. The application of this model demonstrates the use of fundamental principles of physics to quantify the coupled effects of the five principal soil-forming factors of Dokuchaev.