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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 1, p. 21-24
    Received: Jan 13, 1972
    Accepted: Sept 18, 1972

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Chloride Movement in Undisturbed Swelling Clay Soil1

  1. D. E. Kissel,
  2. J. T. Ritchie and
  3. Earl Burnett2



Relatively large, continuous soil pores were important pathways of downward Cl- movement in saturated, swelling clay soils. Using water-soluble fluorescein as a tracer for downward water and Cl- movement in field basins, distinct small areas of the soil contained fluorescein, whereas nearby areas contained no visible fluorescein after Cl- and fluorescein was ponded at the surface for 1.5 days. Chloride contents in the areas containing fluorescein were considerably higher than in nearby areas. Breakthrough curves of a large saturated core of undisturbed swelling clay soil indicated that Cl- was moving quite rapidly through large connected pores. In the undisturbed swelling clay soil, the volume of soil water not containing Cl- was about 60%; when the disturbed soil was repacked to the same density this value decreased to 40%.

More of the original soil solution was eluted from long undisturbed cores than from short undisturbed cores of the same diameter before Cl- appeared in the effluent. Apparently the longer core wall blocked more connected flow paths which were not vertical.

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