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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Measuring Soil Salinity

Author
item Corwin, Dennis

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Water Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: May 4, 2003
Citation: Corwin, D.L. 2003. Measuring soil salinity. In: Stewart, B.A. and Howell, T.A. editors. Encyclopedia of Water Science. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc. p. 852-857.

Interpretive Summary: The measurement of soil salinity is a determination of the total salts present in the liquid portion of the soil. The measurement of soil salinity is important in agriculture because salinity reduces crop yields by reducing the osmotic potential making it more difficult for the plant to extract water, by causing specific-ion toxicity, and/or by upsetting the nutritional balance of plants. A concise discussion is presented of the principles, equipment, procedures and comments regarding the measurement of soil salinity. The discussion is part of the soil water section of the Encyclopedia of Water Science. The discussion is designed to provide general knowledge of the measurement of soil salinity and the factors influencing its measurement by accepted methodologies.

Technical Abstract: The measurement of soil salinity is a quantification of the total salts present in the liquid portion of the soil. The measurement of soil salinity is important in agriculture because salinity reduces crop yields by reducing the osmotic potential making it more difficult for the plant to extract water, by causing specific-ion toxicity, and/or by upsetting the nutritional balance of plants. A discussion of the basic principles, methods and equipment for measuring soil salinity is presented. The concise discussion is designed to provide a basic knowledge of the background, latest equipment, and current accepted procedures and methodology for measuring soil salinity with suction cup extractors, porous matrix/salinity sensors, electrical resistivity, and electromagnetic induction.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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