The effect of ped size, simulated rainfall duration and frequency on the leaching of salts from clay topsoils

Tanton, T.W., Armstrong, A.S.B. and Rycroft, D.W. (1998) The effect of ped size, simulated rainfall duration and frequency on the leaching of salts from clay topsoils. Agricultural Water Management, 37, (2), 133-143. (doi:10.1016/S0378-3774(98)00039-0).


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Aggregates of saline-sodic clay in three size ranges were leached in columns using simulated rainfall events of varying size, duration and frequency. Aggregate size, depth of rainfall and duration affected the rate of leaching, although rainfall pattern became more influential as the aggregate size increased. Using the data, a simple empirical model was constructed to predict leaching, using as a basis the cumulative depth of drainage, the size of the aggregates, the storm duration and the frequency. The model is capable of accurately predicting the quantity of salts leached both under laboratory conditions as well as in mulched restructured topsoils exposed to winter rainfall. However, it overestimated leaching from a topsoil exposed to raindrop impact because of the development of a surface crust which cracked during drying. If the rate of leaching of restructured saline-sodic clays is to be accurately predicted under field conditions it will be necessary to take account of physical changes such as these taking place at the soil surface.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0378-3774(98)00039-0
ISSNs: 0378-3774 (print)
1873-2283 (electronic)
Keywords: leaching, saline, sodic, clay, rainfall, modelling
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 74547
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 July 1998Published
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:07

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