Soil Research Soil Research Society
Soil, land care and environmental research

Origin and assessment of water repellency of a sandy South Australian soil

M Ma'shum and VC Farmer

Australian Journal of Soil Research 23(4) 623 - 626
Published: 1985


The water repellency of a sandy lucerne pasture soil is critically dependent on aqueous extraction and subsequent drying procedures. Freeze-drying converts a very severely water-repellent soil into a readily wettable soil, but subsequent rewetting and oven-drying regenerates water repellency. These changes are ascribed to changes in the molecular conformation of the organic matter. Prolonged shaking detaches organic matter coatings from sand particles and so reduces repellency. Allowing for these effects, it is shown that a sequence of alcohol-benzene extraction, acid leaching, and NaOH extraction removes the major part of the water-repellent substances present.

© CSIRO 1985

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