Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy Application for Brackish Water Irrigation Impact on Soil

Javier Valdes-Abellan, Lucila Candela, Gabriela M. Medero, Jim Buckman

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Abstract

We investigated soil response to irrigation with slightly brackish water (1200 mg L−1 total dissolved solids on average) in a semiarid environment at the microscopic scale using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) applied in static and dynamic modes, which allowed comparison between nonirrigated and 3-yr-irrigated soil samples to determine the impact of applied brackish water. Results indicate that (i) there was a change in soil hydrophilic behavior by the continuous accumulation of water-borne salt in the soil matrix, (ii) compared with nonirrigated samples, the wetting process occurred more gradually for the 3-yr-irrigated sample, (iii) the wetting process started at a lower vapor pressure for the 3-yr-irrigated sample, (iv) water vapor pressure in the chamber at full saturation was lower for the 3-yr-irrigated sample, and (v) the presence of heavy metals in the soil was more frequent in irrigated samples. Our results show that ESEM is a useful technique to determine the impacts on soil of irrigation with slightly brackish water.
Original languageEnglish
Article number180046
JournalVadose Zone Journal
Volume18
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

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