Landscape Processes and Mineralogy

The pedology research program emphasis encompasses a wide area of activities statewide and international. Many of these activities are done in cooperation with colleagues at other institutions or in-country collaborators.

Faculty/Staff

  • Cristine Morgan, hydropedology, College Station, TX
  • Kevin McInnes, environmental physics, College Station, TX
  • Andrea Kishne, hydropedology, College Station, TX
  • Donna Prochaska, soil characterization laboratory, College Station, TX

Research Interests

  • Soil carbon sequestration for a potential second generation dedicated biofuel crop – giant reed
  • Vibration-induced conductivity fluctuation measurement for soil bulk density analysis
  • Managing for cotton fiber quality as a function of variable soil properties: a precision agriculture approach
  • An integrate decision aid for optimizing tillage and planting in the blackland prairie
  • Comparing the effects of soil amendments on aggregate stability, infiltration, and glomalin in eroded and compacted areas
  • Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to characterize soil properties
  • Analysis of seasonal crack formation of a vertisol in the Texas gulf coast prairie
  • Quantifying spatial and temporal heterogeneity of soil cracking to model watershed surface hydrology
  • Locating sulfate-bearing soils using electromagnetic induction in areas potentially used for highway construction

Facilities

The pedology program maintains a full soil characterization lab for soil physical and chemical analysis. This lab analyzes over 1500 samples annually from Texas/USA and International research. We also maintain mineralogical and micromorphology labs. We have just opened a lab with an emphasis on hydropedology.

  • Truck mounted Giddings soil probe
  • A Geonoics EM38dd, landscape survey sensor for measuring bulk soil electrical conductivity across landscapes
  • A TRIMBLE R7/R8 dual frequency GPS with basestation and rover antennas for measuring topography to within 2cm accuracy
  • A new atomic absorption spectrometer
  • X-ray diffraction and X-ray spectrometry equipment for mineralogical and elemental analysis
  • An automatic soil fractionator, centrifuge and accessories for particle size fractionation
  • Electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), atomic force microscopy and microprobe units are available in the Electron Microscope Center on campus
  • Microscopes and image analysis capabilities aid in the interpretation of soil thin sections
  • Lab facilities for sample preparation, impregnation and completion of soil thin sections for soil micromorphology

Soil Characterization Lab

The TAMU Characterization Lab functions as an integral support facility for faculty, graduate students and the Texas Soil Survey Program. The lab provides full soil physical and chemical analysis. The intended audience includes researchers, extension specialists, educators and service personnel with expertise in soil resources. Data provide baseline soils information for those personnel conducting soil research, soil surveys, interpreting the behavior and management of soils and utilizing these resources for agriculture, ranching, forestry, residential development, road construction, waste disposal and soil reclamation.

For additional information, contact Ms. Donna Prochoska dprochas@ag.tamu.edu at 979-845-7295.  Click here for a price list for analyses.

Related Sites of Interest

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