African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Multifractal analysais of particle-size distributions of alluvial soils in the dam farmland on the Loess Plateau of China

Pei Zhao1, Ming-An Shao2* and Tie Jun Wang3
1Key Laboratory of Mountain Environment Evolvement and Regulation, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS, Chengdu 610041, China. 2Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing, China. 3National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 April 2011
  •  Published: 12 September 2011


Multifractal techniques have been widely used in soil science to explore more intrinsic information, such as characterizing a distribution for the entire range of particle-size. A soil particle-size distribution (PSD) constitutes an important soil property correlated to soil properties and processes. For the alluvial soil, however, the study on its PSD information using multifractal techniques is important for soil conservation, agricultural productivity, and riverway safety. The multifractal spectra of 35 typical alluvial soil PSDs covering four soil textural classes were analyzed. The results showed that the f(α)-spectrums of alluvial soil was more symmetric than the primary soil’s. The result indicates that there is a wide range of variability in the heterogeneity of the alluvial soil samples which resulted from erosion and deposition processes. The alluvial soil samples exhibited two distinctively different slopes showing their multifractal characteristics. In this study, multifractal parameters did not show any trend with sand content for the analyzed samples. It could be explained by that multifractal analysis is related to the existence of scaling inside the structure of the measure. Consequently, the multifractal tool is invalid to predicate and evaluate the soil degradation or soil desertification for alluvial soils. Further studies about alluvial soils or sediment should be more concerned with the applicability of multifractal techniques on this kind of psoil to avoid exaggerating its efficiency.


Key words: Alluvial soils, dam farmland, multifractal characterization, particle-size distribution, soil conservation.