Fractal features and infiltration characteristics of the soil from different land uses in a small watershed in a rocky, mountainous area in Shandong Province

  • Lei Wang
  • Rui Yang
  • Shuyong Zhang
  • Guangcan ZhangEmail author
  • Xia LiuEmail author
Original Paper


We studied infiltration and fractal mechanisms on sloping farmlands in a small watershed in Shandong Province in the rocky mountain areas of northern China. We studied soil fraction and soil water retention curves, and developed a soil infiltration model to analyze its quantitative relationship with soil particle size and pore dimensions under four types of land use, including sloping farmland, abandoned land, natural forest, and forest plantation (Malus pumila, Crataegus pinnatifida). Soil stability infiltration rate ranked as sloping farmland > abandoned land > natural forest > forest plantation. The sequence of soil particle size and pore dimension ranked as natural forest > forest plantation > abandoned land > sloping farmland. There were significant positive correlations between soil particle size and pore dimension, and both were positively correlated with the percent volume of silt and clay. They were negatively correlated with soil infiltration rate. The Horton model and the power function model were more suitable for simulating soil infiltration and the infiltration rate. We concluded that the soil in this area displayed typical fragments of rocky mountainous regions due to the loss of silt and clay caused by cultivation on sloping farmland. The uniformity and fractal dimensions of soil particle sizes and pore distribution decreased, thereby enhancing soil infiltration capacity and decreasing soil water retention capacity.


Soil structure Soil infiltration Fractal dimension Sloping farmland Rocky mountainous area 


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Ecological RestorationShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Soil and Water Conservation and Ecological Restoration, Collaborative Innovation Center of Sustainable Forestry in Southern China of Jiangsu ProvinceForestry College of Nanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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