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Estimating Impact of Salinity on Soil Water Potential Dynamics using a Novel Approach

Estimating Impact of Salinity on Soil Water Potential Dynamics using a Novel Approach

Tariq Mahmood Khalil1,2*, Muhammad Ajmal3, Iftikhar Zeb1,4 and Muhammad Azeem Khan1,5
 
 

1Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University; 2Office of the Research Innovation and Commercialization, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, 25120, Pakistan; 3Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, 25120, Pakistan; 4Department of Biotechnology, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus; 5Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Center, University of New England, Armidale 2351 NSW, Australia.


*Correspondence: Tariq M. Khalil,Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University; Email: tariqkhalil@uetpeshawar.edu.pk 

ABSTRACT

Limited fresh irrigation water is a resource constraint to agricultural productivity enhancement in water scarce areas of the globe. The farmers in these areas especially in the developing countries are using saline water for irrigation. This laboratory scale study was aimed to investigate the effects of saline water irrigation on development of total water potential within coarse and fine textured soils using a novel method based on water potential dynamics. Chilled mirror dew point hygrometer accurately captured the water potential dynamics when soil samples were irrigated with saline water. The instrument output showed that soil texture has profound effect on soil total water potential rising the water potential up to −4.56 for coarse soil and −9.11 MPa for fine textured soil. The instrument recorded a slow salt buildup in the coarse textured sandy soil which finally achieved a steady state after exhausting its maximum adsorption capacity. Whereas in the fine textured silt loam soil, a decreasing trend for the total water potential was recorded. The conversion of osmotic potential and electrical conductivity has been already been researched and the readings are interchangeable if conversion is desired. This method can be used as an alternative to the existing traditional methods for measuring the soil salinity. It is also expected that this technique will also help in calibrating the existing salinity measuring devices and may minimize the influence of bias or prejudice induced due to instrumental errors.
 

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Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

December

Vol. 39, Iss. 2, pp. 127-179

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