Original Articles

Behaviour of sesquioxic clay soils subjected to alkaline and saline effluents


The effects of disposal of alkaline and saline effluents on sesquioxic red clay soils have been monitored for many years on a site in the eastern Transvaal. Recently a high chloride content effluent with a sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) of about 8 has also been experimentally irrigated on a 1-ha block within the disposal area to determine rate of chloride movement in the soil. Under the conditions that prevailed the downward movement of the chloride front was about 1 m per year. In spite of high exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) values attained in the lower subsoils, the effect on soil permeability has been minimal. Furthermore, soil pH values are low in relation to the sodicity of the lower subsoils.

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