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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Threshold electrolyte concentration and dispersive potential in relation to CROSS in dispersive soils

Alla Marchuk A B and Pichu Rengasamy A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A The University of Adelaide, Soil Science, Waite Campus, South Australia 5064, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: alla.marchuk@adelaide.edu.au

Soil Research 50(6) 473-481 https://doi.org/10.1071/SR12135
Submitted: 21 May 2012  Accepted: 22 August 2012   Published: 25 September 2012

Abstract

We have used the newly developed concept of CROSS (cation ratio of soil structural stability) instead of SAR (sodium adsorption ratio) in our study on dispersive soils. CROSS incorporates the differential dispersive powers of Na and K and the differences in the flocculating effects of Ca and Mg. The CROSS of the dispersed soil solutions, from the differently treated soils of three soil types varying in clay content, mineralogy, and organic matter, was highly correlated with the amount of clay dispersed. The relation between CROSS and exchangeable cation ratio depended on soil type, and particularly organic matter and the content and mineralogy of clay. Threshold electrolyte concentration of the flocculated suspensions was significantly correlated with CROSS of the dispersed suspensions. The cationic flocculating charge of the flocculated suspensions, which incorporates the individual flocculating powers of the cations, was significantly correlated with CROSS. However, these types of relations will depend on several soil factors even within a given soil class. Therefore, we have derived the dispersive potential of an individual soil from which we calculated the required cationic amendments to maintain flocculated soils and their structural integrity.

Additional keywords: cationic flocculating charge, clay dispersion, flocculating power, soil structure.


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