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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-10-WETLAND SOILS

Tidal Inundation of Transgressive Coastal Areas


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 2, p. 536-544
    Received: Dec 1, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): pedon@dnamail.com
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  1. A.H. Hussein * and
  2. M.C. Rabenhorst
  1. Dep. of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742


Two transects were selected across submerging landscapes in Dorchester County, Maryland, to study the impact of the frequency of tidal inundation on salinization and alkalinization. The frequency of high tides of a particular elevation increases over time due to rising sea level to create dynamic environments in submerging coastal soils. The constructed frequency distribution curves of high tide at Hell Hook and Cedar Creek revealed that the frequency pattern was logarithmic and increased with lower elevation. This distribution enhances the relative importance of tidally induced pedogenic processes at elevations approaching mean high water. For pedons above mean high water, the effect of salinization and alkalinization processes follows the logarithmic frequency distribution pattern. However, for pedons below mean high water, the effect of these pedogenic processes is expected to decline toward a steady-state condition. In marsh environments, the pH-dependent acidity of submerging Al-buffered soils (Ultisols) is not replaced upon permanent inundation, and increasing electrical conductivity (EC) of the soil solution enhances the selectivity of the colloidal complex for Al. Therefore, in response to sea-level rise, low-lying Ultisols transform directly to Histosols. Due to high exchangeable acidity associated with Atlantic coastal soils, the assumptions underlying the relationship between the exchangeable sodium percentage and the sodium adsorption ratio are not valid. Thus, exchangeable sodium percentage should be used to assess soil alkalinity.

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Copyright © 2001. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.65:536–544.