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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Ion Activity Products of Calcium Carbonate in Waters Below the Root Zone1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 2, p. 310-315
    Received: Mar 25, 1976
    Accepted: Dec 13, 1976

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  1. Donald L. Suarez2



The pH, Ca2+, and HCO3- relations were investigated in 28 well waters obtained from beneath irrigated fields in Arizona. The mean [Ca] [CO3] ion activity product (IAP) was 11.3 × 10−9 (pIAP = 7.95) with a standard error of 0.7 × 10−9 based on field measurements of pH. As indicated by ionic strength the residence time of the waters in the soil vary widely. The lack of a trend in pIAP vs. ionic strength indicates the kinetics of calcite equilibration (from supersaturation) is quite slow in soil-water systems. This conclusion was supported by an average pIAP of 7.97 calculated from 35 water analyses obtained from wells in the Grand Valley of Colorado and by a pIAP value of 7.96 obtained from a soil water sample in a lysimeter study. Since these pIAP values are quite consistent and were obtained under a wide variety of conditions, a pIAP value of 7.95 is recommended for use in predictive models when CaCO3 precipitation occurs.

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