Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Residence time

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_482

The period of time a particular element or other substance spends in a system, including the soil. It is a function of the amount of the substance in a defined volume of soil (the reservoir) divided by the net rate of change measured in terms of rate of efflux minus rate of influx. It may vary between a matter of minutes to hours for non‐capillary water in the vadose zone to an order of 10 6 to 10 7 years for elements such as Fe, Al, Ti and Zr, in well‐oxidized soils on stable land surfaces of the tropics.

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© Springer 2008