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Title: Use of chemical soil additives to stabilize off-road vehicle trails

Author: Davis, J.N.; Baier, J.E.; Fulton, J.P.; Brown, D.A.; McDonald, T.P.;

Date: 2007

Source: Applied engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 23(5): 597-602

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Off‐road vehicle (ORV) use is an increasingly popular form of outdoor recreation throughout the United States. This form of motorized recreation, however, can sometimes lead to serious erosion of trail running surfaces, with resulting export of sediment into forested ecosystems causing environmental degradation. This project was conducted to determine the feasibility of using two types of soil amendments, an acrylic copolymer (Envirotac) and a lignin emulsion (Terrabind), as cementing agents to seal and harden ORV trails to reduce erosion and promote durability. The amendments were evaluated in controlled traffic tests on simulated trails in two slope classes – averaging 2% and 8%, respectively. Simulated rainfall events of 1‐h duration and intensity of 75 mm/h were used to assess erosion potential. Results showed that both amendments increased total runoff from test plots on flatter slopes, but that sediment concentration was reduced. Net export of sediment was lower for treated plots than those not receiving any soil amendment. In further tests after a period of four months and at higher soil moisture content, the Envirotac treatment retained most of its ability to control the sediment concentration of effluent while the effectiveness of the lignin product was reduced. The Envirotac product was selected for limited testing on actual ORV trails. The amendment was applied on curved, outsloped sections of trails and rut formation was compared to untreated curves located nearby. The soil amendment did not improve durability of the treated sections, but this was likely due to high soil moisture content at the time of installation.

Keywords: erosion, erosion control, off-road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, rainfall simulator, trail, soil, slope, soil amendment

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Davis, J.N.; Baier, J.E.; Fulton, J.P.; Brown, D.A.; McDonald, T.P. 2007. Use of chemical soil additives to stabilize off-road vehicle trails. Applied engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 23(5): 597-602


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