Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES)

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NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Michael Konen

Event Type
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
W-109 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801
Feb 15, 2013   3:00 pm  
Dr. Michael Konen
FREE - Open to the Public!
Robert Darmody

NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Michael Konen, Associate Professor of Geography, Graduate Coordinator, Certified Professional Soil Scientist, and Certified Professional Soil Classifier at Northern Illinois University. 

Soil spatial variability in low-relief glacial landscapes is often overlooked, poorly documented, casually explained as random, and rarely communicated in soil surveys.  Modern soil spatial variability is the cumulative result of a complex interaction between geologic, biologic, hydrologic, anthropogenic, and pedologic processes acting over time.  A great deal of modern soil spatial variation is systematic and can be explained through an integrated understanding of glacial and eolian sedimentation systems and post-glacial landscape evolution. The processes involved and the resulting variability occur across multiple scales on the landscape.  Soil landscapes in the glacial mid-continent have systematic pedologic properties both along hillslopes and within landscape positions.  This pedologic variability often leads to similar variability in properties like crop yield, water movement, organic carbon content, and aggregate stability.  An understanding of pedologic variability can aid in the applied aspects of soil  resource decision making scenarios and aid in understanding soil carbon stocks.  The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss the complex integration of glacial and post-glacial processes across the mid-continent and to highlight examples leading to a systematic understanding of modern soil-landscape relationships.  Examples from Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio landscapes with < 3 meters modern relief will be the focus of the presentation.  The cumulative contribution of glacial depositional systems, sediment facies relationships, periglacial processes, Holocene hillslope erosion-sedimentation, bioturbation, and post-settlement agricultural practices on modern soil spatial variability and ultimately on soil organic carbon stocks will be discussed. Scientists monitoring soil carbon stocks and other dynamic soil properties in the field should be very aware of in-field variability associated with past agricultural practices and pedogeomorphic landscape evolution.

Poster (PDF)

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Dr. Konen is hosted by Dr. Robert Darmody. If you wish to meet with the speaker, please contact Bob at

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