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What Is The Effect Of Alkaline Treatments On Structural And Morphological Features.

Structural and Morphological Features of Toohey Forest

Toohey forest is found in the southern suburbs of Brisbane. It has an extensive walking track with huge sandstone outcrops. The forest has stunning banksias and grass trees. The plants found in the forest are eye-catching especially during late spring and winter. The forest contains a variety of rocks littered everywhere which could have been as a result of sedimentary metamorphism leading to the occurrence of formation of folds. Such folds also suggest that the rock strata might have experienced a lot of pressure due to the movement of tectonic plates (Fensham, et al. 2014). It also contains both the Woogaroo and Tingalpa beds which describe the present topography of the forest.

The Tingalpa shales formed as a result of erosion and weathering which occurred between two sediments causing disconformity. The forest also contains large sandstone boulders displaying huge pore space. The sedimentary rocks found in the forest are believed to have existed during the era of Triassic Jurassic and hence are older than the Tingalpa beds (Baker et al.2012). Further, Toohey forest contains a large content of clay soil and a variety of classes of sedimentary rocks such as the mudstones which have formed part of the Tingalpa beds. The rocks in the forest are non-permeable and non-porous due to erosion and weathering process, and this has been contributed primarily by.

Toohey Forest vegetation is made of an open eucalypt forest which is mostly covered by rainforest species (Franklin et al.2010). It is home to many species that are both the plant and wildlife species. There are two significant types of vegetation in the forest that is grassland and forest vegetation. The forest vegetation mainly comprises of tall trees which have formed a layer of foliage covering the ground level. There are also a variety of trees found in the forest and include, oaks, mangroves, ashes, mosses, rosewoods, and lichens (Tonkov, 2012). The primary forest vegetation found in Toohey Forest is the tropical rainforest and thus making the place have a high and constant temperature throughout the year. Also, the evaporation rate is high. Lightning and thunder also accompany the rainstorms.

The forest also contains the grassland vegetation which typically constitutes a natural plant cover mainly consisting of grass (Malgwi, & Abu, 2011). However, the level of coverage of such vegetation is mainly strata, and this is because it is in small quantity. The main type of grassland vegetation found in the forest is the tropical grassland whose trees are deciduous.

Vegetation Types in Toohey Forest

Based on the mapping of the forest, it is divided into a variety of vegetation types that is the grassland and forest vegetation. Each of the vegetation contains a variety of, that is both plant and wildlife species (Mala et al.2012). The forest is divided into the plant and animal species section with the animals confined under one particular place and guided from interfering with the plant species. Additionally, there are sections preserved mainly for a variety of tourists from different regions across the globe. The forest contains a park which constitutes the Mt Gravatt outlook reserve. The reserve offers spectacular views where various visitors enjoy the picnicking and natural study. It has the mountain bike trails and walking tracks which are pleasant and appealing to many individuals across the world, and hence a lot of people come to enjoy and walk along the forest.

Further, Toohey forest offers unique features such as picnic areas within the park which includes, Mayne Estate and Toohey picnic, Getrude Petty place and Mt Gravatt outlook picnic area (Tonkov, 2012). In the Gravatt outlook lies the views of Brisbane and other surrounding suburbs such as Glasshouse Mountains, Bay islands, and D'Aguilar ranges. Apart from that, there is a playground and restaurant which can be used for refreshment and fun for the children.

The forest also contains the fauna and flora, and this is attributed to the presence of the eucalypt forest which covers the Brisbane. It believed that there are about 400 plant and wildlife species in the forest (Mala, et al. 2012). Such species have often been used as a tourist attraction facilities which generates large income both foreign and local for Australian government over the last few decades. Inside the forest are numerous weeds which are harmful to the species, however, there have been measures to eradicate them to avoid loss of the species. There is also the region where the sedimentary rocks are found that is Woogaroo and Tingalpa part of the forest, and it serves to form a better history of the topography of Toohey forest. The major rocks located in the two areas are mainly the sedimentary rocks which were as a result of both erosion and weathering process (Malgwi, & Abu, 2011). The area also contains sandstones which contribute to the formation of some of the rocks in the particular region of the forest.

There are a variety of methods which used to determine various elements of the soil of the forest such as slope morphology, soil pH, soil texture and particle size analysis among others.

Soil Properties of Toohey Forest

Soil morphology involves the use of various methods to describe the physical properties of soil using a variety of methodologies such as abney level and dumpy level.

The slope of the site was measured using an abney level which includes, a movable bubble level connected to a protractor scale and pointing arm. It also consisted of a sighting tube. The abney level method was selected since it is affordable and easy to use (Senarath et al. 2010). Apart from that, it provides very clear and accurate results about the slope morphology of a particular land. However, the accuracy of the results of the slope morphology of the forest was using the method limited by factors such as the ability to hold the eye and an individual's eyesight which are critical elements for clear resolution of the technique (Hood-Nowotny, et al. 2010).

A dumpy level is an instrument which was used to check for the various points of the same horizontal plane in the forest. The method mainly consisted of a level head, tripod, and staff. The dumpy level was chosen since it is simple and easy to use (Rowell, 2014). Also, it produces very accurate readings especially in places where the level of land is dumpy as compared to other policies. However, certain drawbacks were witnessed during the use of the method such as inaccuracy of the angles obtained by the dumpy level (Rowell, 2014).

The soil colour is the reflection of soil in the pedogenic environment. The method that was used in the study involved comparing the colour chips with the soil samples in the Munsell soil color charts (Hong, et al. 2018). The Munsell color system indicated that the soil colour of the forest was light and dark (Brar, & Verma, 2011). Further, the unit of the soil structure was taken into consideration during the study to remove any possibility of explaining the colour using a ped surface coating.

The methods in the field that were used in to determine the soil texture were mainly hand texture method, separation by sedimentation which primarily relied entirely on Stoke's Law with the following equation v=g (rs - rl)c2/ (18h). The other method was separation by sieving in which a wet method was used to determine the size of the particles (?uhel et al.2010).

In the laboratory, the soil texture was determined using two methods that are the pipet method and bouyoucos hydrometer method. The pipet method was based on the fact that sedimentation typically removes from a particular depth, in a time and this is after all the particles have settled down at a certain velocity (?uhel et al.2010). The bouyoucos hydrometer method, on the other hand, determines the soil texture by ascertaining the solid concentration in a particular suspension. The buoyant force in the hydrometer primarily determines the soil texture.

Methods Used to Determine Soil Properties

The field method involved the use of laser diffraction method since it provided a better and detailed classification of the size of soil particles compared to the other methods. In the laboratory for the soil particle size, hydrometer method was used in determining the size of the soil particles (?uhel, et al. 2010).

Soil pH. The soil pH is a measure of alkalinity and acidity of the soil, and it is defined as a negative logarithm of hydronium ions in a particular solution.

Field pH

The filed pH was measured using a pH meter to test for the soil samples in the forest. Its scale ranges from 0 to 14 (Bradham, et al., 2011). The pH meter uses pH indicators which changes colour as the level of the pH varies. The method was selected since it provides an accurate result of the soil pH of the forest. However certain limitations were witnessed which led to a variety of errors.

The electrometer pH method which was chosen was the vacuum tube electrometer. The techniques apply the amplifying property of vacuum tube in circuits to test for the pH of the soil of the forest. However, there were certain problems which were encountered in the process of using the method such as battery maintenance, drift, and noise (Bradham, et al. 2011). The problems mentioned above largely contributed to the production of several errors making it difficult to get the exact pH value of the soil sample.

The Soil CaCO2 concentration was measured using the method of the diffusive gradient in thin films in the laboratory. Under the method, the various soil samples were placed in different metal concentrations in the laboratory. The method was chosen since it provided an accurate result and hence could be easily relied on future use (Seneviratne et al.2010). The other method which was used was the tree-based intercropping system which was mainly done in the field. The method was complicated and hence could not provide an accurate data to be relied on by the users of the information of the report.

The method that was used in the measuring the soil moisture in the field was the gravimetric method which involved the gathering of the soil sample, weighing the sample and later drying it to estimate the original moisture content (Seneviratne, et al. 2010). However, there were certain limitations with the use of the method such that a lot of time and effort was used mainly during the collection of data from a variety of samples used producing several errors. Such errors, however, could be reduced by raising the size and number of samples. The other method which was used is the feel and appearance method in which the soil moisture was measured by feel and appearance of the soil samples that were collected. However, the exact amount of soil moisture was not obtained. In the laboratory, the volumetric method was used, and it involved placing the soil sample in the tube auger whose volume is known (Seneviratne, et al. 2010). Moisture in the soil sample was then determined by dying it an oven and estimating the exact amount by using the following formula; Moisture content=bulk density (%) by volume * moisture content (%) by weight. The volumetric method was found to be more accurate compared to the gravimetric method. However, it also produced a variety of errors due to the repeated weighing, transportation and sampling of the samples (Chambers et al.  2011).

Loss on ignition is an experiment used in testing inorganic, analytical chemistry especially during the evaluation of minerals and soil. The loss on ignition was measured by heating of the soil samples in a muffle furnace and at a specific temperature to enable the soil samples to escape till the mass stops from undergoing any particular change.. The sample was then dried in an oven to a constant weight (Seneviratne, et al. 2010). The method was chosen since it is simple and hence can be used in a variety of both ecological and survey studies. However, despite its simplicity, various errors were produced in the course of using the technique leading to inaccuracies in the results (Chambers et al.2011).

The organic carbon level of the soil sample was measured using the wet acidified dichromate oxidation method. Such a method involved the use of potassium dichromate to oxidize the organic carbon in the soil. The amount of potassium dichromate is then estimated after the reaction using titration by drying agent to determine the amount of carbon in the soil. However, the method was found to be costly and time-consuming even though it produced accurate results (Chambers et al. 2011). The other method was Walkley black titration method which was applied to assess the organic carbon in the soil sample. The method was by oxidation of the organic matter using potassium dichromate which was then proceeded by back titration. To get an accurate result of the organic carbon level of the soil sample, the two methods were compared (Chambers et al.2011). However, the result using the Walkley black titration method produced a precise and accurate result which was relied on to make a final report of the study.

The Toohey Forest area project focused on the analysis related to surveying, moisture, carbon, soil color, soil pH, soil texture, and soil particle size. Data was presented for each of the analyses with particular narrowing of some types of analyses as shown in this chapter. Some of the basis of the analysis included the determination of the relationship between the soil pH and organic carbon or inorganic carbon in the Toohey Forest area. More than that, this segment of the project aimed at answering the question concerning the existence of any relationship between the oxide formation, which is indicated by the red soil coloration, and the soil depth or slope in the Toohey Forest area (Barcellos, et al. 2016).  Therefore, this section deals with the soil morphology, soil color, soil texture and particle size analyses, soil pH, soil moisture, loss on ignition and organic carbon level as well as the soil Calcium carbon iv oxide.

As stated above in the introduction, it has been established that slope morphology greatly affects the slopes stability when examining it from the perspective of erosion of the surface as well as mass wasting. A slope of the surface is basically the angle which any part of the surface of the earth makes with the horizontal datum.  The understanding of the processes of slope formation and its evolution is of special significance of the planners of land use. The primal categorization of the slopes includes primary and secondary slopes whereby primary slopes promote relief while the secondary slopes involve the processes tending to reduce the relief.  The evolution of the secondary slopes involves the erosion and the modifications of the primary slopes (Chien, 2015).  As the fruit of the same tree, the sloping process involves an active agents or factors that are known to bring some changes to the surfaces or landforms. Some of these agents include the impacts of the falling drops of rain or the water that is running. This rate at which slope morphology takes place can be determined through the stated methodology in the above chapter.

The origin of the primary slopes include the tectonic or fault scarps, depositional (such as the volcanoes, dunes, delta forests, etc.), erosional (such as glacial valleys etc.), as well as the human activities like hydraulic mining, tailing pipes, among others. Based on the analysis of Seneviratne, et al. (2010), the processes acting on the slopes include the mass wasting and action of water such as the raindrops impact, slope wash, and subsurface flow. Some of the factors affecting the slope morphology include the geology, climate, and local activity. Geology involves the composition of the slope and the structure if the slope that have the ability to control detachability of the slope materials through some particularly natural processes (Barcellos, et al. 2016). Geology describes the rock slopes that control the strength and the structure of the rock. The strength of the rock promotes the development of the surface, whereby the high rock strength promotes the development of the free face flow while the low strength of the surface rock promotes flatter slopes.

The soil slopes on the other hand is suited to control some other processes such as soil erosion, which is majorly influenced by water.  As the main agent of erosion, in this case, water is influenced by the soil permeability and ability of the soil be eroded as well as the vegetation covering materials. More than that, mass wasting is also influenced by the sedimentary characteristics such as the degree of the soil consolidation and structure.

Slopes are ever-present segment of the landscape. This is because a slope is a fundamental type of landscape feature.  Due to that fact, the slope steepness plays a major role in influencing the rate of runoff, soil creep, as well as the flowage of the soil.

The morphological maps are expressed clearly, from the engineering perspective, with the expectations of showing the morphological surface characteristics that are actually related to the economic and technical planning of an area in a form that is easily understandable and precise. The use of morphological methods is satisfactory in their bid to achieve the objectives. In this way, these methods that were used involve a quantitative descriptive process for the relief.

The Toohey Forest area geomorphological maps indicate the stability of slopes, the nature, intensity, and direction of slope processes, as well as the delineation of slope categories (Barcellos, et al. 2016). Some of these factors, sloping categories gives the quantitative morphometric information, the others being qualitative classifications. Some of the morphological slope representations within the aspects of the above characteristics include the average value of the angles of the slopes and their extremities, which are very important for environmental planning purposes, especially the ones touching on the slope categories. The second factor is the morphological maps of the slope indicating the directions, the slope angles in average, as well as their forms within the drainage pattern network.  These factors are complementary on the environmental planning maps of the Toohey Forest Area, giving illustrative information. More than that, they give clear and direct definitions on certain slope categorizations that are important to the course.

Soil pH is the measure of how the soil is acidic or alkaline. The determination is done using a range of numbers from 0 to 14 as pH levels. In this way, a pH of 7 is the neutral one. Therefore, the best or optimum soil pH ranges between 6-7 (Hong, et al., 2018).  In regards to the Toohey Forest area project, the determination of the soil pH is very significant mostly to check the relationship between the soil pH and the organic carbon or inorganic carbon in the forest area (Barcellos, et al. 2016).

The table below shows the depth of the soil extracted from the Toohey Forest area, the determined pH, and the organic percentage.  

Table 1: Soil pH, soil depth, and organic percentage

Depth cm

pH

Organic C%

-5

4.3

2.6

-15

4.4

2.4

-25

4.8

1.8

-35

5

0.3

-45

6

0.1

This data was analysed and the graphs below show the correlation between the pH and the organic carbon with the depth in soil profile. The second graph also shows the correlation between soil pH and the organic carbon.

According to the graph above, it is evidenced that the depth of the sol extracted from the Toohey Forest area is directly related with the organic carbon of the soil (Barcellos, et al. 2016). In this way, with the increasing depth of the soil, there is an increasing amount of the organic carbon in the soil. However, there is an inverse relationship between the depth of the soil, measured in centimetres, and the soil pH. With every increasing soil depth, there is a decreasing level of the soil pH (Hong, et al. 2018).

In the graph 2 below, the adjusted R-squared is 0.7758, suggesting that 77.58% of the variation in the pH can explain the variations in the organic carbon in the Toohey Forest area soil. This is farther explained by the inverse relationship between the pH and the organic carbon in the soil profiles in this area as shown in the graph below.

Soil texture indicates the respective relative composition of the soil particles of various sizes such as sand, silt, and clay in the soil. The variations in the sizes of the soil particles form the various structures of soil that are so diverse from the content in one place from the other places in a particular area. In this study, the focus on the Toohey Forest area looked at the extent at which the soil texture influence the ease with which soil can be worked on, the amount of water, as well as the amount of air the soil can hold (soil capillarity) (Barcellos, et al. 2016). More importantly, it was deemed necessary to examine the rate at which the water can move freely through the water. This is also to note that there are three types of soil textures that eventually determine the particle sizes; sand, clay, and silt.

The physics of soil is keen on the porosity (pore sizes) of soil which is critical in the determination of the capillarity of the soil. The size of the soil particles, i.e. soil texture, especially categorized under sandy, clay, or silt affects the porosity or the pore sizes.  The large pores conduct water easily and therefore contribute to good drainage. However, they retain little moisture because of their low ability to retain water. Such type of soil texture enhances aeration. However, the small pores, on the other hand, does not easily conduct water and thus give poor drainage and has high amount of moisture and poor aeration. This information is illustrated in the graphic diagram below:

As stated by Barcellos, et al. (2016), the soil colour is the reflection of soil in the pedogenic environment. Through the comparison of the coloured samples the soil extract from the Toohey Forest area, the colour chips were used in projecting the soil colour charts. It was found out that the Munsell colour system indicated that the soil colour of the forest was light and dark. Further, the unit of the soil structure was taken into consideration during the study to remove any possibility of explaining the colour using a bed surface coating. The determination of the soil colouring system is fundamental in expressing the level at which the soil textures and particle sizes dictates the colouring style of the soil in the forest.

The measurement of the precipitation of water within and outside the soil surface in gaseous state is critical for conservation of water. The extracted sample of soil in the Toohey Forest area was measured against the amount of moisture content. This was determined suing the amount of gas that comes out and finding the difference, i.e. the amount of absorbed to the surface on the soil.  This calculation was aided by the use of Braunauer, Emmet, and Teller equation (Hong, et al. 2018). The simplest ways of measuring the soil surface area also involves determining the moisture factor whereby, the simpler way is to measure the retention level of water by the soil structured type at different temperatures, which is equivalent to the moisture factor. The fore, the moisture factor in the soil is equal to the air-dried soil at 40 degrees weight divided by the over-dried soil at 105 degrees of weight. Specific surface area 2/g                            moisture factor

From the above graph, the adjusted-R squared is 0.6602 suggesting that the 66.02% of the moisture content in the soil is determined by the specific surface area. Therefore, there is a string link between the surface area of the soil, the moisture content, as well as the soil type in the process of water retention levels in the soil (Hong, et al. 2018). This relationship, however, varies with the soil type and structural differences in the form of clay, silt, and sandy segments.

The importance of the moisture factor is that, although it has some elements of imperfection in measurements, it provides a handy estimates of the specific area and very easy to measure. Therefore, based on the measurement of the soil extract from the various portions of Toohey Forest Area, the moisture factor of the area is 1.02 whereby the soil is an air-dried mass of 250g and oven-dried mass of 160g. Therefore, the determination is the soil has some little clay in it considering the water retention level of the soil.

The analysis of the soil CaCO2 concentration was done using the method of the diffusive gradient in thin films in the laboratory. Under the method, the various soil samples were placed in different metal concentrations in the laboratory. The method was chosen since it provided an accurate result and hence could be easily relied on future use (Seneviratne, et al. 2010). The other method which was used was the tree-based intercropping system which was mainly done in the field. The method was complicated and hence could not provide an accurate data to be relied on by the users of the information of the report.

It is determined that the soil thickness in any part of the land is directly dependent on the relative position of the highlands and the lowlands of the forest. In this way, the higher areas are due to the steepness of the slopes that have weathered rock materials that have been washed over the low lying areas where thickness of the soil is known to cover the increases. In most cases, the soil in the upland areas of the forest less thick compared to the soil thickness in the low lying areas of the forest area.  As a result of this, it is prudent to conclude the natural truth that steep slopes tend to have thinner and stony soil.

Just as argued by Zinn, et al. (2018) if a time-independent condition is introduced into the scene through soil thickness attainment, the rate of net soil removal will be equal to the rate at which the underlying rocks of the Toohey Forest area is weathered. Thus, the soil slope morphology becomes of structured importance to the soil thickness, moisture factor, colour, pH, and the content.  Putting the charts into perspectives, through the consideration of the volume of the pore space and the soil texture (in terms of sand, loam, and clay), the total pore space is determined by the difference between the volume of small pores and the volume of the large pores.

The relationship between the soil pH and the various components of the soil such as the depth, measured in centimetres and the organic composition is very critical in the determination of the soil characterization and the forest selection (Vannoppen, et al. 2016). Through the ccomparison and the measurements for each parameter across the cores and with depth, there are various observational evidences that suggest the positivity in the connection between the soils in the Toohey forest area and the rock types. One of them is the steady and direct relationship between the soil pH and soil depth.  It was found that with the increasing depth of the soil, there is an increasing amount of the organic carbon in the soil. However, there is an inverse relationship between the depth of the soil, measured in centimetres, and the soil pH. With every increasing soil depth, there is a decreasing level of the soil pH. By a positive argument at hand considering the above 70% adjusted R-squared of correlation determination, the relationship between the pH of the various soil types and the organic carbon speaks volumes (Hong, et al. 2018).

The findings above confirms the fact that Toohey forest contains a large content of clay soil and a variety of classes of sedimentary rocks such as the mudstones which have formed part of the Tingalpa beds. The rocks in the forest are non-permeable and non-porous due to erosion and weathering process, and this has been contributed primarily by this fact.

Conclusion

The parameters of soil topography are usually the best bet when it comes to the determination of the soil erosion losses and in the calculation of the short-term mass stability. They include inclination and length of slope. Most engineered or man-made slopes are planar in form with an unvarying, down-slope gradient and little, if any, plan-form curvature. Natural slopes do not typically exhibit planar slope faces with uniform, standard slopes. However, the natural slopes become apparent a variety of complex slope forms and profiles. Slopes that start out with planar topography also tend to evolve over time into equilibrium shapes that seldom are entirely planar. This paper described the conceptual and environmental models, as well as the results of laboratory tests and field observations that can be used to determine the effect of slope shape on both mass stability and resistance to rainfall erosion.

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