Soil compaction is the method of mechanically increasing the density of soil. Soil compaction is an important component of the land degradation syndrome which is an issue for soil management throughout the world. It is a long standing phenomenon not only associated with agriculture but also with forest harvesting, amenity land use, pipeline installation, land restoration and wildlife trampling. The principal causes are when compressive forces derived from wheels, tillage machinery and from the trampling of animals, act on compressible soil.
Compact soils can also be found under natural conditions without human or animal involvement. Compaction alters many soil properties and adverse effects are mostly linked to a reduction in permeability to air, water and roots. There are five principle reasons to compact soil; To increase load-bearing capacity, prevents soil settlement and frost damage, provides stability, reduce water seepage, swelling and contraction also reduce settling of soil. There are four types of compaction effort on soil; vibration, impact, kneading and pressure.Soil compaction is the process where soil grains are rearranged to decrease void space and increase the bulk density by bring them into contact with one another (SSSA, 1996). Therefore, soil compaction causes changes in soil porosity and bulk density of the soil.
These modified parameters of the soil determine the effect of soil compaction on chemical properties of the soil and plant growth (Nawaz et al., 2012). Soil compaction also causes detrimental effects in crop production and forest management worldwide (Soane and van Ouwerkerk, 1994). Among the problems that can be caused by soil compaction are poor environment for roots, waterlogging, excessive erosion and poor aeration. However, in certain circumstances, soil compaction can bring benefits to the environment.
For example, improve crop production during extremely dry seasons, reduce deep drainages, improve seed-soil contact as well as better roadways and dam bases.