Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Base Saturation

  • Bryon W. Bache
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_50

Base saturation indicates the balance between acid and base cations adsorbed by the cation exchange complex (CEC) of a soil. The term is a partial misnomer because a base is a chemical compound that can react with an acid to form a salt; calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH) 2, is an appropriate example. In the present context, however, it is now understood to mean the cation of the base, that is, Ca 2+, as distinct from the cations H 3O + and [A1(H 2O) 6] 3+, which are acids.

If a neutral solution (that is, at pH 7) of a salt such as ammonium chloride percolates through a neutral soil, the leachate will contain an amount of cations equivalent to that in the initial solution, although the composition of the leachate will be different because of cation exchange; in particular, the leachate will be enriched in Ca 2+. If, on the other hand, the neutral salt solution passes through an acid soil, the leachate will be acid, and it will contain less base cations than the added solution because the base...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

Bibliography

  1. Bache, B.W., 1974. Soluble aluminium and calcium‐aluminium exchange in relation to the pH of acid soils. J. Soil Sci., 25: 320–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blosser, D.L., and Jenny, H., 1971. Correlations of soil pH and per cent base saturation as influenced by soil forming factors. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc., 35: 1017–1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradfield, R., and Allison, W.H., 1933. Criteria of base saturation in soils. Int. Soc. Soil. Sci. Trans. Commun., II(A): 63–79.Google Scholar
  4. Chapman, H.D., 1965. Cation‐exchange capacity. In Black, C.A., ed., Methods of Soil Analysis, Vol. 2. Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy, pp. 891–901.Google Scholar
  5. Coleman, N.T., and Thomas, G.W., 1967. The basic chemistry of soil acidity. In Pearson, R.W., and Adams, F., eds., Soil Acidity and Liming. Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy, pp. 1–41 (additional bibliographic references may be found in this article).Google Scholar
  6. Hissink, D.J., 1925. Base exchange in soils. Faraday Soc. Trans., 20: 551–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Peech, M., 1965. Exchange acidity. In Black, C.A., ed., Methods of Soil Analysis, Vol. 2. Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy, pp. 905–913.Google Scholar
  8. Pierre, W.H., and Scarseth, G.D., 1931. Determination of the percentage base saturation of soils and its value in different soils at definite pH values. Soil Sci., 31: 99–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Schachtschabel, P., and Renger, M., 1966. Beziehung zwischen V‐ und pH‐Wert von Böden. Z. Pfl. Dung. Bodenk., 112: 238–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Turner, R.C., and Clark, J.S., 1966. Lime potential in acid clay and soil suspensions, Int. Soc. Soil Sci. (Aberdeen) Trans. Commun., II&IV: 207–215.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryon W. Bache

There are no affiliations available