- Soil salinity
Soil salinity is the salt content in the soil. [ [http://europeandcis.undp.org/WaterWiki/index.php/Soil_salinity from "Soil salinity" in WaterWiki, the on-line Knowledge and Collaboration Tool of the Community of Practice (CoP) on Water- and UNDP-related activities in Central and South-Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.] ]
Salt affected soils are caused by excess accumulation of salts, typically most pronounced at the soil surface. Salts can be transported to the soil surface by
capillarytransport from a salt laden water table and then accumulate due to evaporation; they can also be concentrated in soils due to human activity. As soil salinityincreases, salt effects can result in degradation of soils and vegetation.
Salinization is a process that results from:
* high levels of salt in the soils.
* landscape features that allow salts to become mobile. (movement of water table)
* climatic trends that favor accumulation.
* human activities such as land clearing and
aquacultureactivities. Saltis a natural element of soils and water.The ions responsible for salinization are: Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Cl-.
As the Na+ (sodium) predominates, soils can become sodic. Sodic soils present particular challenges because they tend to have very poor structure which limits or prevents water infiltration and drainage.
eons, as soil minerals weather and release salts, these salts are flushed or leached out of the soil by drainage water in areas with sufficient precipitation. In addition to mineral weathering, salts are also deposited via dust and precipitation. In dry regions salts may accumulate, leading to naturally saline soils. This is the case, for example, in large parts of Australia. Human practices can increase the salinity of soils by the addition of salts in irrigation water. Proper irrigation management can prevent salt accumulation by providing adequate drainage water to leach added salts from the soil. Disrupting drainage patterns that provide leaching can also result in salt accumulations. An example of this occurred in Egypt in 1970 when the Aswan High Dam was built. The change in the level of ground waterbefore the construction had enabled soil erosion, which led to high concentration of salts in the water table. After the construction, the continuous high level of the water table led to the salination of the arable land.
Salinity from drylands can occur when the water table is between two to three metres from the surface of the soil. The salts from the groundwater are raised by capillary action to the surface of the soil. This occurs when groundwater is saline (which is true in many areas), and is favored by land use practices allowing more rainwater to enter the aquifer than it could accommodate. For example, the clearing of trees for agriculture is a major reason for dryland salinity in some areas, since deep rooting of trees has been replaced by shallow rooting of annual crops.
irrigationcan occur over time wherever irrigation occurs, since almost all water (even natural rainfall) contains some dissolved salts. When the plants use the water, the salts are left behind in the soil and eventually begin to accumulate. Since soil salinity makes it more difficult for plants to absorb soil moisture, these salts must be leached out of the plant root zone by applying additional water. This water in excess of plant needs is called the leaching fraction. Salination from irrigation water is also greatly increased by poor drainageand use of saline water for irrigating agricultural crops.
Salinity in urban areas often results from the combination of irrigation and groundwater processes. Irrigation is also now common in cities (gardens and recreation areas).
The consequences of salinity are
* detrimental effects on plant growth and yield
* damage to infrastructure (roads, bricks, corrosion of pipes and cables)
* reduction of water quality for users, sedimentation problems
soil erosionultimately, when crops are too strongly affected by the amounts of salts.
Salinity is an important land degradation problem. Soil salinity can be reduced by leaching soluble salts out of soil with excess irrigation water. High levels of soil salinity can be tolerated if salt-tolerant plants are grown. A comprehensive treatment of soil salinity is available from the FAO: Salt-Affected Soils and their Management, FAO Soils Bulletin 39 (http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5871e/x5871e00.htm).
From the FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World the following salinised areas can be derived. [R.Brinkman, 1980. Saline and sodic soils. In: Land reclamation and water management, p. 62-68. International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement (ILRI), Wageningen, The Netherlands.]
Atriplex(saltbush) (orache) (orach)
Salinity in Australia
Salting the earth
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Salinity control — relates to controlling the problem of soil salinity and reclaiming salinized agricultural land. The aim of soil salinity control is to prevent soil degradation by salinization and reclaim already salty (saline) soils. Soil reclamation is also… … Wikipedia
Soil conservation — is set of management strategies for prevention of soil being eroded from the earth’s surface or becoming chemically altered by overuse, salinization, acidification, or other chemical soil contamination. The principal approaches these strategies… … Wikipedia
Salinity in Australia — Soil salinity and dryland salinity are two problems degrading the environment of Australia. It is a concern in most states, but especially in the south west of Western Australia. TOC The Eastern Mallee and the Western Mallee are areas that are… … Wikipedia
Soil — For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). A represents soil; B represents laterite, a regolith; C represents saprolite, a less weathered regolith; the bottommost layer represents bedrock … Wikipedia
Salinity — Annual mean sea surface … Wikipedia
soil — soil1 soilless, adj. /soyl/, n. 1. the portion of the earth s surface consisting of disintegrated rock and humus. 2. a particular kind of earth: sandy soil. 3. the ground as producing vegetation or as cultivated for its crops: fertile soil. 4. a… … Universalium
Soil biodiversity — This discussion looks at the relationship of the soil to biodiversity, at some aspects of the soil that can be managed in relation to biodiversity, and raises some catchment management considerations.oil and biodiversityBiodiversity is “the… … Wikipedia
Soil health — is an assessment of ability of a soil to meet its range of ecosystem functions as appropriate to its environment. Aspects of soil health The term soil health is used to assess the ability of a soil to: *Sustain plant and animal productivity and… … Wikipedia
Soil resilience — refers to the ability of a soil to resist or recover their healthy state in response to destabilising influences this is a subset of a notion of environmental resilience . This overview provides a discussion of soil resilience in the context of… … Wikipedia
Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite — Global soil moisture and ocean salinity measurements are needed to better understand Earth’s water cycle and climate. Currently, there is no thorough dataset on soil moisture or ocean salinity. Current satellites operated by NASA have provided… … Wikipedia