Soil disturbance and transport are crucial drivers of landscape formation, vegetative patterns, and soil geochemistry. The interactions of humans, plants, animals, and climate shape the environment. For a better understanding of the ecological processes occurring in an environment, knowledge of the frequency, area, and depth of soil stirring and how fast and to what depth soil is moving downhill are required. Soil freshening, a result of soil stirring processes, is an important mechanism for the release and/or uptake of carbon, physical, chemical, and biological weathering processes, and nutrient cycling, particularly phosphorus cycling. There is a pressing need for the development of models for soil stirring that are based on actual field measurements for us to gain a greater understanding of these processes. Specifically, this study seeks to quantify the relative importance of humans, ants, and trees in a basin as a first step towards developing models based on actual field data.
Gilbert, Rebecca B. (2011): Regolith stirring by biological processes, Gordon Gulch, Colorado. An Independent Study Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences WILLIAMS COLLEGE Williamstown, Massachusetts.