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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Salt Distribution and Hardpans at Dryland Saline Seeps in Southern Alberta


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 54 No. 1, p. 136-138
    Received: Mar 8, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. T. G. Sommerfeldt,
  2. C. Chang  and
  3. B. J. Lamond
  1. Agriculture Canada Res. Stn., Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1



Hardpans at 30- to 60-cm depth were found at three dryland saline-seep sites in southern Alberta. The soils were sampled for analyses at 0.3-m depth intervals to 1.2 m along two parallel transects across the sites. Of the acid-extractable salts, CaCO3 was the most abundant. Shallow hardpans were found only in the saline, waterlogged, CO3-rich soil in the discharge areas, generally at the depth where the 1:25 acid-extractable Ca and CO3 contents exceeded 0.6 mol kg−1 of soil. Similar contents were also found in the recharge areas, where there was no detectable hardpan. Conditions in the discharge areas apparently were suitable for the precipitation and cementation necessary to form the hardpans. Further research is needed to characterize the hardpans and to study conditions, mechanisms, and causes for their formation and their relationships with saline seeps.

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