Advertisement

Measuring Soil Salinity

Protocol
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 913)

Abstract

Soil salinity is a form of land degradation in which salts accumulate in the soil profile to an extent that plant growth or infrastructure are negatively affected. A range of both field and laboratory procedures exist for measuring soil salinity. In the field, soil salinity is usually inferred from apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) using a range of devices, depending on the required depth of analysis, or size of the survey area. Field measurements of ECa require calibration to the actual salt content by laboratory analysis. In the laboratory, soil salinity is usually assessed by determining either the total soluble salts by evaporation of a soil water extract (TSS), or by determining the electrical conductivity (EC) of either a 1:5 distilled water:soil dilution, or a saturated paste extract. Although procedures for measuring soil salinity appear relatively straightforward, differences in methodology have considerable influence on measured values and interpretation of results.

Key words

Electrical conductivity Electromagnetic induction Soil texture Saturated paste Salt 

References

  1. 1.
    Brinkman R (1980) Saline and sodic soils. In: Land reclamation and water management. International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement (ILRI), Wageningen, The Netherlands, pp 62–68Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Spies B, Woodgate P (2005) Salinity mapping methods in the Australian context. Department of the Environment and Heritage; and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    McNeill JD (1980) Electromagnetic terrain conductivity measurements at low induction numbers. Geonics Limited, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cook PG, Walker GR, Buselli G, Potts I, Dodds AR (1992) The application of electromagnetic techniques to groundwater recharge investigations. J Hydrol 130:201–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Williams BG, Baker GC (1982) An electromagnetic induction technique for reconnaissance surveys of soil salinity hazards. Aus J Soil Res 20:107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McFarlane DJ, George RJ (1992) Factors affecting dryland salinity in two wheatbelt catchments in Western Australia. Aus J Soil Res 30:85–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rayment GE, Higginson FR (1992) Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods. Inkata Press, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Watling K (2007) Measuring salinity, in facts, land series, L137. Natural Resources and Water, QueenslandGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Miller JJ, Curtin D (2008) Chapter 15: electrical conductivity and soluble ions. In: Carter MR, Gregorich EG (eds) Soil sampling and methods of analysis, 2nd edn. Canadian Society of Soil Science, CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 161–171Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shaw RJ (2001) Soil salinity—electrical conductivity and chloride. In: Peverill KI, Sparrow LA, Reuter RJ (eds) Soil analysis, an interpretation manual. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp 129–145Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    McMahon S, Bell I (1992) Saltpak Tasmania: an information package, Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries Tasmania, National Soil Conservation Program, Landcare TasmaniaGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gibbs S (2000) How to texture soils and test for salinity, in salinity notes, p 4, NSW Agriculture—Salt Action, No 8, OctoberGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Taylor S. (1993) Dryland salinity—introductory extension notes. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Bathurst, New South WalesGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Barrett-Lennard EG (2003) Saltland pastures in Australia: a practical guide, 2nd edn. Land, water and wool sustainable grazing on saline lands sub-programGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Land and Water Australia (2009) Saltland solutions, options for saltland restoration, Future Farm Industries CRC, Land Water and Wool SGSL, Canberra, ACTGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Slavich PG, Petterson GH (1993) Estimating the electrical conductivity of saturated paste extracts from 1:5 soil, water suspensions and texture. Aus J Soil Res 31:73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nichols P, Barrett-Lennard EG, Bennett S (2010) Pasture legumes and grasses for saltland, in Farmnote. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western AustraliaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agricultural Science, Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural ResearchUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agricultural Science, Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural ResearchUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Personalised recommendations