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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 6, p. 1030-1032
    Received: Dec 13, 1976

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Deicing Salt Movement and its Effects on Soil Parameters and Vegetation1

  1. C. A. Buzio,
  2. G. W. Burt and
  3. J. E. Foss2



Salt damage to the environment occurs in restricted areas in humid regions as a result of factors such as industrial waste, sea water, and deicing salt. A study was conducted, therefore, to determine the distribution of salt leached from a deicing salt pile, and its effects on soil parameters (pH, Mg, P, and K) and plant successional changes in a hardwood forest area. Lateral movement and leaching of chloride was studied as it occurred in an adjacent slope by sampling the soil (Sunnyside Sandy Loam; Typic Hapludult) to a depth of 76 cm at 17 sites. The soil samples collected from the field were then analyzed for salt content by using the conductivity bridge. Lateral movement (of chloride) was extensive with subsequent leaching to a depth greater than 76 cm. Of the measured soil parameters, only K was found to be correlated with NaCI concentration. Within 3 years of the establishment of the salt stockpile, all the trees in the sampled area were dead. Out of 29 plant species found to have invaded the sites with less than 5,000 ppm of NaCI, only 10 were found in sites with concentrations |Tearer than 15,000 ppm. Recommendations to be considered when establishing a deicing salt pile are presented.

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