Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 457–470 | Cite as

Saline-alkali soils of Russia

  • L. A. Vorob’eva
  • E. I. Pankova
Genesis and Geography of Soils


Diagnostics, methods of evaluation, and geography of saline-alkali (soda) soils are discussed. The saline-alkali soils include soils of different genetic types with the following chemical properties: the pH of the water suspensions equal to or higher than 8.5; the total alkalinity exceeding 1.4 meq/100 g of soil and the sum of water-soluble calcium and magnesium; and the presence of soluble “alkaline” salts in the soil profiles, the hydrolysis of which results in the alkaline reaction of the soils. The chemical properties of the saline-alkali soils are largely related to the presence of soda (Na2CO3, NaHCO3) in the soils. According to their morphological properties, saline-alkali soils are divided into two groups: alkaline soils with an undiferentiated profile and without a morphologically pronounced solonetzic (natric) horizon, and alkaline soils with a pronounced natric horizon (solonetzes). Solonetzes, in turn, are divided into (a) alkaline solonetzes (with soda or with soda and neutral salts), (b) solonetzes salinized with neutral salts (saline soils) with increased alkalinity in the solonetzic and lower lying horizons, (c) saline solonetzes throughout the profile, and (d) leached solonetzes containing no soluble salts in the profile and almost no exchangeable sodium in the soil exchange complex (SEC) (“dead” solonetzes). The latter two groups of solonetzes cannot be ranked among the alkaline soils. The alkalinity of the saline-alkali soils under study is due to carbonate and bicarbonate ions (carbonate alkalinity), organic acid anions (organic alkalinity), and borate ions (borate alkalinity). The carbonate alkalinity is due to both soda (Na2CO3, NaHCO3) and CaCO3.


EURASIAN Soil Science Total Alkalinity Alkaline Soil Exchangeable Sodium Exchangeable Sodium Percentage 
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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. Vorob’eva
    • 1
  • E. I. Pankova
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Soil ScienceMoscow State UniversityLeninskie gory, MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Dokuchaev Soil Science InstituteRussian Academy of Agricultural SciencesMoscowRussia

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