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Type: Journal article
Title: Porewater geochemistry of inland acid sulfate soils with sulfuric horizons following postdrought reflooding with freshwater
Author: Creeper, N.
Shand, P.
Hicks, W.
Fitzpatrick, R.
Citation: Journal of Environmental Quality, 2015; 44(3):989-1000
Publisher: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0047-2425
Statement of
Nathan L. Creeper, Paul Shand, Warren Hicks, and Rob W. Fitzpatrick
Abstract: Following the break of a severe drought in the Murray-Darling Basin, rising water levels restored subaqueous conditions to dried inland acid sulfate soils with sulfuric horizons (pH <3.5). Equilibrium dialysis membrane samplers were used to investigate in situ changes to soil acidity and abundance of metals and metalloids following the first 24 mo of restored subaqueous conditions. The rewetted sulfuric horizons remained severely acidified (pH ∼4) or had retained acidity with jarosite visibly present after 5 mo of continuous subaqueous conditions. A further 19 mo of subaqueous conditions resulted in only small additional increases in pH (∼0.5-1 pH units), with the largest increases occurring within the uppermost 10 cm of the soil profile. Substantial decreases in concentrations of some metal(loid)s were observed with time most likely owing to lower solubility and sorption as a consequence of the increase in pH. In deeper parts of the profiles, porewater remained strongly buffered at low pH values (pH <4.5) and experienced little progression toward anoxic circumneutral pH conditions over the 24 mo of subaqueous conditions. It is proposed that low pH conditions inhibited the activity of SO₄²-reducing bacteria and, in turn, the in situ generation of alkalinity through pyrite production. The limited supply of alkalinity in freshwater systems and the initial highly buffered low pH conditions were also thought to be slowing recovery. The timescales involved for a sulfuric horizon rewetted by a freshwater body to recover from acidic conditions could therefore be in the order of several years.
Rights: Copyright © American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
DOI: 10.2134/jeq2014.09.0372
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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