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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Reclamation of a Saline Sodic Soil Using Synthetic Polymers and Gypsum


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 56 No. 4, p. 1257-1260
    Received: Mar 22, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. M. F. Zahow and
  2. C. Amrhein 
  1. Soil Salinity Lab., Baccos, Alexandria, Egypt
    Dep. of Soil and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521



The water infiltration rate of saline sodic soils often limits the rate of reclamation. Column leaching studies were conducted to determine if water-soluble, synthetic polymers would be beneficial in improving the hydraulic conductivity and aid reclamation of a heavy-textured, salt-affected soil. Soil samples from a swelling soil (fine, montmorillonitic [calcareous] Thermic Vertic Haplaquoll) were collected from a field site that had exchangeable sodium percentages (ESP) of 8, 12, 20, 25, 32, and 35. The air-dried soil samples were treated with polyacrylamide polymers (one nonionic and two anionic) and one cationic guar-derivative polymer at a rate of 50 mg kg−1. Polymer treatments had a highly significant effect on increasing the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil samples with ESP values <15, but had no significant effect on the samples with values > 15. The addition of gypsum increased the hydraulic conductivity from 0.0 to 0.063 mm h−1 in the soil with an ESP of 32. When polymers were used in conjunction with gypsum, the hydraulic conductivity increased to 0.28 mm h−1. We attributed the improvement in hydraulic conductivity with polymer treatment at low ESP values and in the gypsum-treated soil to a reduction in soil slaking and dispersion. At ESP values > 15, an additional mechanism that may have been controlling the hydraulic conductivity was swelling, and none of the polymers reduced soil swelling.

Contribution from the Dep. of Soil and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside.

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