How do sodic soils behave? The effects of sodicity on soil physical behaviour

So H.B. and Aylmore L.A.G. (1993) How do sodic soils behave? The effects of sodicity on soil physical behaviour. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 31 6: 761-777. doi:10.1071/SR9930761

Author So H.B.
Aylmore L.A.G.
Title How do sodic soils behave? The effects of sodicity on soil physical behaviour
Journal name Australian Journal of Soil Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-9573
Publication date 1993-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/SR9930761
Volume 31
Issue 6
Start page 761
End page 777
Total pages 17
Language eng
Subject 2304 Environmental Chemistry
1111 Soil Science
Abstract A model has been presented to illustrate the way in which the influence of exchangeable Na on the fundamental processes of dispersion and flocculation on Na-Ca systems affects the various soil physical properties in the field. Most cultivated soils slake (breakdown into microaggregates) when subjected to rapid wetting, giving rise to a surface seal and a reduction in infiltration rate. However, slaking alone may not neccessarily reduce the soil's productivity, e.g. surface aggregates of the highly productive self-mulching black earths slake even when in the virgin state. If dispersion follows slaking, in most cases it will lead to poor physical properties which may manifest as poor drainage, surface crusting, hardsetting and poor trafficability or workability of the soil and eventually lead to reduced crop yields. It is the dispersion phase that is affected by the presence of excessive sodium on the exchange complex of the soil, and this may have a profound effect on the soil’s physical properties and behaviour.This paper reviews the possible mechanisms by which excessive sodicity may manifest in undesirable soil physical behaviour. It also attempts to relate observations made in the laboratory on pure Na-Ca-clay systems to the behaviour of the soil in the field. The effect of sodium on the dispersive behaviour of a soil is discussed in relation to its hydraulic conductivity and the processes of infiltration, redistribution and evaporation of water which in turn affects the subsoil water storage in a soil profile. The presence of sodium is also discussed in relation to changes in soil strength characteristics, the soils workability and ease of tillage and ultimately the soil’s productivity. Data are presented which show that the validity of a threshold ESP and the exclusive use of ESP as a measure of sodicity are open to question.
Keyword Dispersion
Exchangeable sodium percentage
Physical behaviour
Sodic soil
Structural stability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 52 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 62 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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