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Keywords:

  • soil aggregates;
  • ultrasonication;
  • dispersion maxima;
  • water-extractable elements

Abstract

Questions remain about the exact ultrasonic energy level that is required to effectively disperse soil aggregates and to what extent this is accompanied by physical damage to individual soil particles. We found maximum aggregate dispersion at energy levels of 1500 J cm–3 and no evidence for the disintegration of particles < 20 μm even at that energy level. Our findings suggest that sonication at energies much greater than those applied conventionally can disperse aggregates of high mechanical stability.