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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Reclamation of Saline-Sodic Soils by Leaching1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 6, p. 1100-1106
    Received: Apr 13, 1979
    Accepted: July 12, 1979

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  1. W. A. Jury,
  2. W. M. Jarrell and
  3. D. Devitt2



Seven lysimeters containing sandy loam or clay loam soils were reclaimed by ponded or unsaturated leaching following a saline irrigation experiment of 2.5 years duration. Initial soil electrical conductivity was as high as ECe = 25 mmho/cm with associated exchangeable sodium percentages (ESP) up to 60%. Substantial quantities of solid gypsum and lime were present in the soil profile from precipitation reactions during the crop irrigation stage.

Drainage volumes were expressed in pore volume units to scale out differences between water retention and leaching rates. Plots of scaled chloride concentrations (Cl/Cl initial) vs. pore volumes were similar for all lysimeters, with essentially all chloride removed by 1.5 pore volumes. Total salt removal was well described by a single curve (C/Cinft)(PV) = 0.8 for all treatments. Standard cation exchange equilibrium equations were used in a chromatographic displacement model to produce an algebraic equation to describe exchangeable Na reductions as a function of leaching pore volumes. This model, along with a model for calculating exchangeable Mg reductions, was in good agreement with measured changes for all treatments.

No special amendments were required to maintain high permeability during leaching, even when distilled water was used, because of redissolution of previously precipitated Ca salts.

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