Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014ND286B

Sodic soil characterization and management on subsurface drainage

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $7,100 Total Non-Federal Funds: $14,200

Principal Investigators: Tom DeSutter

Abstract: Many soils in ND are being drained through the use of subsurface tiles. The purpose of subsurface drainage is to decrease excess soil water at times of planting and harvesting and to remove soluble salts from the root zone. However,many of the soils may be negatively impacted because sodium is part of the exchange complex. Sodium is known as a dispersant and this dispersion or swelling is accelerated when the concentration of soluble salts is reduced, which will likely occur in tile-drained soils. Dispersion and or soil swelling can lead to decreased Ksat, water percolation, and increased runoff, and finally a decrease in drainage performance. Currently there are no management strategies that have been developed for ND to help combat the effects of high sodium and low electrical conductivity or to prevent these phenomena from occurring. Detailed knowledge and interpretation of chemical factors involved in sodic soils during tile drainage is incomplete. The objectives of this research are to determine physical and chemical properties (Ksat, dispersion, swelling, and pore volumes of water) of our samples, and to determine the efficiencies of different amendments on sodic soil reclamation.