Soil salinity

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Terms & Synonyms

Soil salinity

Official WHO Definition

Other Definitions

Contents

Interpretations and Explanations

Definition/Description

Saline irrigated land with poor crop stand
Saline irrigated land with poor crop stand

Soil salinity is the salt content of the soil.

The term soil salinity is often used in the sense that the salt content of the soil is too high for satisfactory crop production: the soil is saline or salty.

Man-made saline soils are often the result of improper irrigation and drainage practices in (semi)arid regions. See also "Land drainage" and "Salinity control".

Classification

Soil salinity is often measured in electrical conductivity (EC) of a saturation extract of soil samples (ECe), expressed in dS/m (deci Siemens per meter).

Crop yield of mustard and soil salinity
Crop yield of mustard and soil salinity

However, it is easier to determine EC from 1:2 (EC1:2) soil-water dilutions, and applying conversion equations: ECe = 4 to 4.5 EC1:2 (ref. [1] ).
Many crops experience yield depressions when the ECe is 4 to 8 (as in the figure, made with SegReg program, see segmented regression).
Salt tolerant crops like barley have higher salinity threshold values : Ece = 12 to 16.

References

salinity WHO-Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

Salinity control

External Resources

The FAO presents an article on salty soils in:
http://www.fao.org/docrep/R4082E/r4082e08.htm

A leading research institute is the US Salinity Laboratory at:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=53-10-20-00

Information on soil salinity and land drainage : [2]

Articles on soil salinity and land drainage : [3]

Frequently asked questions on soil salinity and land drainage : [4]

Sofware on soil salinity and land drainage : [5]

Attachments

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