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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 53 No. 3, p. 883-890
    Received: May 24, 1988

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Field Techniques for Measuring Wetland Soil Parameters

  1. S.P. Faulkner ,
  2. W.H. Patrick and
  3. R.P. Gambrell
  1. School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Duke Univ., Durham, NC 27706
    Lab. for Wetland Soils and Sediments, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA 70803



Delineating wetlands from nonwetlands in seasonally inundated ecosystems is often difficult and requires data on soil functions and attributes. Techniques (including equipment design, construction, and installation) for assessing wetland soil attributes have been developed that allow direct field measurements of soil O2 content, oxidation-reduction potential, water-table depth, and presence of ferrous iron. Soil O2 content is measured from diffusion chambers with a specially fitted polarographic probe. Redox potential is measured with permanently installed platinum electrodes and a voltmeter. Determination of water-table depth may require piezometers in addition to unlined observation wells. The presence of ferrous iron can be detected with α, α,-dipyridyl and indicates anaerobic conditions, although interpretation and extrapolation of results must be carefully made. These parameters are particularly diagnostic and results of field studies reveal their dynamic nature and utility in wetland delineation efforts.

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