Effects of drainage on the chemistry of acid sulfate soils

P.A. Moore, N. van Breemen, W.H. Patrick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

4 Citations (Scopus)


Acid sulfate soils develop in coastal areas of the world, usually in the tropics. Due to their coastal proximity and their nearly level slope, these soils often appear to be ideally suited for agricultural usage following draining. The first stage of acid sulfate soil formation involves the production of pyrite, which occurs in clayey intertidal environments such as mangrove swamps, where tidal flushing is strong. The necessary prerequisites for pyrite formation are: sulfate, sulfate reducing bacteria, organic matter, iron, and alternate periods of anaerobic and aerobic conditions. The second major step in the formation of acid sulfate soils involves aeration of the pyritic sediments, which leads to pyrite oxidation and subsequent acid formation. Water management is a major management tool for acid sulfate soils. Oxidation and acidification can be stopped or prevented by maintaining a high water table. Waterlogging and soil reduction helps to remove acidity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgricultural drainage
EditorsR.W. Skaggs, J. van Schilfgaarde, J.M. Bartels
ISBN (Electronic)9780891182306
ISBN (Print)9780891181415
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Publication series

NameAgronomy Monographs
PublisherASA, CSSA, SSSA Books
ISSN (Electronic)2156-3276


  • Acid sulfate soil formation
  • Agricultural usage
  • Land use planning
  • Pyrite oxidation
  • Seasonally flooded acid sulfate soils
  • Soil reduction
  • Soil survey
  • Tidal environments
  • Water management


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