Acid Sulfate Soils: Identification, Assessment, and Management

Authored by: L.A. Sullivan , R.T. Bush , E.D. Burton

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120046327

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Abstract

The presence and behavior of acid sulfate soil materials need to be appreciated by environmental managers if the severe environmental hazards that these soil materials present when mismanaged are to be avoided or minimized. Such environmental hazards include severe acidification of waterways and can impact on the build environment—bridges, drains, pipes, and roadways—as well as severely impact on the ecology of landscapes containing these soil materials, endangering aquatic life and public health. Many land uses—but especially agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture—may be severely affected by these acid sulfate soil–related hazards. Management of acid sulfate soil landscapes needs to take into account the hazards that these materials pose and include appropriate precautions to avoid if possible or, at the very least, to minimize the severe environmental degradation that mismanagement of these soil materials can cause. This entry provides information to enable the recognition of acid sulfate soil materials and the environmental hazards these materials pose as well as summarizes their properties and the processes that operate within them. The broad range of strategies available for the environmentally sustainable management of these materials, whether for intensive developments such as building sites or for rural areas used for agriculture, etc., are also addressed.

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