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Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization C-Change in GEES Human.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization C-Change in GEES Human."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization C-Change in GEES Human Pressures on the Environment Session 5 Session 5: Salinization

2 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization How to use the teaching slides  These slides are not intended to form a complete lecture on the session topic.  These resources are designed to suggest a framework to help tutors develop their own lecture material  The resource slides comprise where appropriate; key points, case studies, images, references and further resources.  There are limited case studies included. Students can develop their own portfolio of case studies as part of coursework activities  These resources may be used for educational purposes only, for other uses please contact the author  These slides were last updated in December 2009

3 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Disclaimer  Links within this presentation may lead to other sites. These are provided for convenience only. We do not sponsor, endorse or otherwise approve of any information or statements appearing in those sites. The author is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such external site.  While every effort and care has been taken in preparing the content of this presentation, the author disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the information in any of the content. The author also (to the extent permitted by law) shall not be liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information. The author is also not liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of, or reliance on sites linked to this site, or the internet generally.  Pictures, photographs and diagrams within this presentation have been produced by the author unless otherwise stipulated  No content within this resource is knowingly an infringement of copyright. Any infringement can be immediately rectified on notification of the author of the resource

4 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Session Outline The Process of Salinization Human Causes of Salinization Management of Salinization

5 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Salt affected soils are caused by excess accumulation of salts, typically most pronounced at the soil surface. Salts are transported to the soil surface by capillary transport from a salt laden water table and accumulates due to evaporation. As soil salinity increases, salt effects can result in degradation of soils and vegetation. Salt is a natural element of soils and water. The ions responsible for salinization are: Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Cl-. As the Na+ (sodium) predominates, a salt affected soil is often also a sodic soil. Salinization is a natural process that results from: high levels of salt in the soils. landscape features that allow salts to become mobile (movement of water table) climatic trends that favour accumulation Soil Salinity

6 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Salinization is the process by which water- soluble salts accumulate at the surface of soil. Salinization is a resource concern because excess salts hinder the growth of crops by limiting their ability to take up water. Salinization may occur naturally or because of conditions resulting from management practices. Any process that affects the soil-water balance may affect the movement and accumulation of salts in the soil: hydrology, climate, irrigation, drainage, plant cover and rooting characteristics, farming practices Soil Salinity What is Salinization? Atacama desert, salt flats Photo: palegoldenrod (flickr.com)

7 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization In some areas (for example the Middle East, Australia) enormous amounts of salts are stored in the soils. Human practices have increased the salinity of top soils by bringing salt to the surface through disrupting natural water cycles (irrigation, land clearing, draining etc.). One of the best examples of excess salinization was observed in Egypt in 1970 when the Aswan High Dam was built: Change in the level of ground water before the construction enabled soil erosion Led to high concentration of salts in the water table. High level of the water table after construction led to the salinization of the arable land Soil Salinity Salinization Aswan Dam Photo: Hajor (wikimedia commons)

8 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Can occur when the water table is between two to three metres from the surface of the soil. The salts from the groundwater are raised by capillary action to the surface of the soil. This occurs when groundwater is saline (which is true in many areas), and is favoured by land use practices, allowing more rainwater to enter the aquifer than it could accommodate. For example, the clearing of trees for agriculture is a major reason for dryland salinity in some areas, since deep rooting of trees has been replaced by shallow rooting of annual crops. The Salinization Process

9 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization The Salinization Process

10 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Primary Salinization: 80% of salt- affected land has a natural origin. Salts formed by weathering of rocks or natural external inputs. Secondary Salinization: 20% of salt-affected lands, and around 15 Mha on the continent of Africa, have a "man-made" origin. Human activity linked to agricultural practices and in particular to irrigation. Causes of Salinization Flood irrigation

11 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Salinization on the soil surface occurs where the following conditions occur together: the presence of soluble salts (sulphates of sodium, calcium, magnesium) in the soil a high water table a high rate of evaporation low annual rainfall Salinization often occurs on the rims of depressions and edges of channels, at the base of hillslopes, and in flat, low-lying areas surrounding shallow bodies of water. These areas receive additional water from below the surface, which evaporates, and the salts are left behind on the soil surface. Human practices that increase the soil moisture content (e.g. irrigation) increase salinization as the water moves through hillslope soil, accumulates in seeps and then evaporates. Causes of Salinization

12 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Almost all water (other than natural rainfall) contains some dissolved salts. Water is continually added through irrigation and lost from the soil through evapotranspiration and the salts that are left behind accumulate. Since soil salinity makes it more difficult for plants to absorb soil moisture, these salts must be leached out of the plant root zone by applying additional water. This, in turn, can lead to rising water tables, requiring drainage to keep the saline groundwater out of the root zone. Causes of Salinization Irrigation

13 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization If the water table rises too high, then natural soil evaporation will begin to draw the salts back upward into the soil profile. The problem is accelerated when too much water is added too quickly due to inefficient water use: applying more water than is required for leaching, using bad estimates of evapotranspiration poor drainage use of saline water for irrigating agricultural crops. These practices result in the concentration of salts in the soil. Causes of Salinization Irrigation

14 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Causes of Salinization Irrigation

15 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Region ( FAO nomenclature) Country Total Area (Mha) Cultivated Area (Mha) Salt-affected Area (Mha) (%) Africa Ghana Kenya Nigeria Tanzania Near East Egypt Iran Syria Tunisia Source : FAO, Integrated management for sustainable use of salt-affected soils. By A. Mashali, D.L Suarez, H. Nabhan and R. Rabindra, FAO Soils Bulletin. Impacts of Salinization Global Extent

16 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization 10 hectares of land suitable for cultivation is lost every minute, 3 hectares of which is as a result of salinization (equivalent to 1.5 Mha per year). Today almost 400 Mha are affected by salinization. In Africa almost 40 Mha are affected by salinization, around 2% of the total surface area. In the Near East almost 92 Mha are affected by salinization, around 5% of the total surface area. International Commission on Water Resources Systems (2006) Impacts of Salinization Global Extent

17 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Salinity in urban areas often results from the combination of irrigation and groundwater processes. Cities are often located on drylands, leaving the rich soils for agriculture. Irrigation is also now common in cities (gardens and recreation areas). Can cause yield damage to infrastructure (roads, bricks, corrosion of pipes and cables) Impacts of Salinization Urban Areas

18 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Salts in the soil increase the efforts by plant roots to take in water. High levels of salt in the soil have a similar effect as drought - making water less available for uptake by plant roots. Few plants grow well on saline soils; therefore, salinisation often restricts options for cropping in a given land area. Salinization degrades the quality of shallow ground water and surface water resources, such as ponds, sloughs, and dugouts. Impacts of Salinization Vegetation

19 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Impacts of Salinization The Aral Sea

20 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Prevention of salinization by using humic acids - especially in regions where too much irrigation was practiced. In soils with excess salts, humic acids can fix anions and cations and eliminate them from the root regions of the plants. Saltbush: A type of plant that is able to tolerate saline conditions and draws salt up into its leaves. Managing Salinization Saltbush plants nr Port Augusta

21 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Early signs: Increased soil wetness in semiarid and arid areas The growth of salt-tolerant weeds Irregular patterns of crop growth and lack of plant vigour Advanced signs: White crusting on the surface A broken ring pattern of salts adjacent to a body of water White spots and streaks in the soil The presence of naturally growing, salt-tolerant vegetation Soil salinity can be estimated by measuring the electrical conductivity of the soil solution. Electrical conductivity increases in a solution in direct proportion to the total concentration of dissolved salts. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (1998) Managing Salinization Identifying the Problem

22 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Reducing the severity and extent of soil salinity is primarily a problem of water management. Water management can be addressed in two ways: (1)by managing the area contributing excess water to the soil (recharge area) or (2) by managing the area where the excess water comes to the surface (discharge area) Managing Salinization

23 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Recharge management: Plant crops that use the available soil moisture. Shallow rooted crops may not extract excess subsoil moisture that can lead to salinity. Remove excess water from recharge areas of seeps by using actively growing, deep-rooted plants. Perennial plants and forages, especially alfalfa, are useful for this purpose because they have a longer growing season and take up more water from a greater depth in the soil than annual plants. Forages may also increase organic matter in the soil and improve soil structure. Return manure and crop residue to the soil to increase soil water retention. Reduce summer fallow by continuous cropping. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (1998) Managing Salinization

24 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Recharge management (cont.): Manage snow so that it is evenly distributed and does not pond on thawing. Divert surface water to down slope ponds. Use cropping and tillage systems that promote infiltration and permeability e.g. building organic matter for soil aggregation and avoiding compaction. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (1998) Managing Salinization

25 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Discharge management: Grow salt-tolerant crops. Reduce deep tillage, which may bring up salts from deeper soil horizons. Plant forage crops or trees next to bodies of water to increase water use. Install artificial drainage systems in severely affected areas only. Eliminate seepage from irrigation canals, dugouts, and ponds. Generally, control measures should take an integrated approach involving cropping, structural methods, and tillage systems. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (1998) Managing Salinization

26 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization Salinization is a problem of global significance and one that is rapidly growing as a consequence of human activity Better agricultural and land management practices are necessary to reduce the impact of salinization Management efforts should focus both on recharge (the amount of water infiltrating into the soil) and discharge (the uptake/removal of water from the soil). Summary

27 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization A. Mashali, D.L. Suarez, H. Nabhan and R. Rabindra, Integrated Management for Sustainable Use of Salt-affected Soils, FAO Soils Bulletin, Rome (2005) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (1998) ‘Soil Quality Information Sheet. Soil Quality Resource Concerns: Salinization’ Available at: soils.usda.gov/sqi/publications/files/salinzation.pdf References

28 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization This resource was created by the University of Keele and released as an open educational resource through the 'C-change in GEES' project exploring the open licensing of climate change and sustainability resources in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. The C-change in GEES project was funded by HEFCE as part of the JISC/HE Academy UKOER programme and coordinated by the GEES Subject Centre. This resource is licensed under the terms of the Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/).http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ However the resource, where specified below, contains other 3rd party materials under their own licenses. The licenses and attributions are outlined below: 1.The name of the University of Keele and its logos are unregistered trade marks of the University. The University reserves all rights to these items beyond their inclusion in these CC resources. 2.The JISC logo, the C-change logo and the logo of the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -non-commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK England & Wales license. All reproductions must comply with the terms of that license

29 Dr Stefan Krause, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: Human Pressures on the Environment – Salinization AuthorDr Stefan Krause Stephen Whitfield Institute – OwnerKeele University, School of Physical and Geographical Sciences TitleSalinization Powerpoint Presentation Date CreatedJanuary 2010 DescriptionSalinization – Powerpoint Presentation – Part Five of Human Pressures on the Environment Educational Level1 Keywords (Primary keywords – UKOER & GEESOER) UKOER, GEESOER, Causes, Impacts, Management Creative Commons LicenseAttribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales Item Metadata


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