Movement of Salt During the Cropping Cycle in Drained and Undrained Coastal Marshes of the U.K.
Along the coast and the estuaries of Eastern England there are considerable areas of saline (E.C.E > 4mmhos cm −1) heavy clay soils. The study area relevant to this paper is the Hoo Peninsula on the North Kent Marshes. This area, formerly natural salt marsh, has long been embanked and the land used as grazing pasture. Over the last fifteen years, however, much of the land has been ploughed up, pipe drainage installed, and converted to arable farming. Subsequently drainage systems have failed, and during wet winters, surface flooding occurs and crop yields suffer. Intensification of the drainage system has also failed to improve the situation which arises because of the high proportion of smectite clay minerals in the soil and the fact that the soils are both saline and sodic (exchangeable sodium percentage > 15).
KeywordsClay Porosity Montmorillonite Gypsum Leaching
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