Aluminum-contaminant transport by surface runoff and bypass flow from an acid sulphate soil

L.Q. Minh, T.P. Tuong, M.E.F. van Mensvoort, J. Bouma

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Quantifying the process and the amount of acid-contaminant released to the surroundings is important in assessing the environmental hazards associated with reclaiming acid sulphate soils (ASS). The roles of surface runoff and bypass flow (i.e. the rapid downward flow of free water along macropores through an unsaturated soil matrix) in transporting aluminum from three types of raised beds (soil ridges formed by piling up soil materials excavated from adjacent ditches) were studied in a Typic Sulfaquept in Can Tho, Vietnam. During the month of April, 1 h cumulative infiltration of the low raised beds (made only of the topsoil materials) and high raised beds (made of topsoil and jarositic layers) was significantly higher than that of the traditional raised beds (made of topsoil, jarositic and pyritic materials). As the rainfall season progressed, infiltration in July decreased four to seven-fold from the initial values in April, resulting in an increase in runoff. Due to surface crusting, the traditional raised beds yielded the highest runoff (110 versus 50–60 mm in the other types in July). Aluminum concentrations in the bypass flow (6–22 mmol l-1) associated with each of the three bed types were higher than in the runoff (3–14 mmol l-1). In low and high raised beds, the amounts of aluminum transported by bypass flow (15–16 kmol ha-1) was higher than in the runoff (4–6.5 kmol ha-1), while in the traditional type, the two components were similar (11–12 kmol ha-1). The total amount of aluminum released from the low raised beds was lowest. Low raised beds thus pose less environmental hazards to the surroundings compared to the other two types. Interventions that affect the amount of aluminum transport in runoff and in bypass flow are important in balancing agricultural production and environmental protection in ASS areas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • acid sulfate soils
  • soil chemistry
  • leaching
  • aluminium
  • vietnam

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