Quantifying the reduction in hydraulic conductivity of disturbed soil columns as a function of the salinity and sodicity of applied water

Hansen, Leigh (2010) Quantifying the reduction in hydraulic conductivity of disturbed soil columns as a function of the salinity and sodicity of applied water. [USQ Project] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In recent years there has been increased concern within Australia’s agricultural industry regarding water availability and quality for irrigation. Prolonged droughts and dwindling water storages have put the nation’s water resources under increased pressure. As a result, Australia’s coal seam gas industry has been investigating the utility of coal seam gas (CSG) by-product water for irrigation. However, CSG by-product water comprises of high sodicity and salinity concentrations which are potentially harmful to crops and soil structure if used for irrigation. The aim of this project was to investigate the physical and chemical characteristics involved with the determination of the electrolyte thresholds in soils, and their inter-relationships, with regard to the effects of sodium. This project also investigated these characteristics and their significance to Australia’s Coal Seam Gas mining industry, with the ultimate aim of determining the utility of CSG by-product water for irrigation. The methodology for determining the threshold electrolyte concentration (TEC) in soils was found to be appropriate for identifying differences between soils.In the present study, soils subjected to water with high sodium concentrations were generally found to have a substantial reduction in hydraulic conductivity compared to soils leached with calcium-dominated water. However, the hydraulic conductivities for two soils with low clay content were not affected by the application of saline-sodic water. A substantial variation in the TEC was found between soils and there was no clear relationship between the TEC and the soil chemical or physical properties of the soils. This suggests that there is a need to individually measure the TEC for each soil and that it may not be possible to identify surrogate indicators of structural stability to saline-sodic water application. While the TEC measurement methodology appeared appropriate for the soils evaluated in this study, further research is required to validate the utility of this methodology for use across a broader range of soils


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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2010 04:50
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2010 06:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: CSG; byproduct;water quality; irrigation; water supply; TEC
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 09 Engineering > 0914 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy > 091499 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy not elsewhere classified
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8407

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