The exchangeable cations in soils flooded with sea water

W.H. van der Molen

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The changes in the exchangeable cations of soils flooded with sea-water were extensively studied in the Netherlands after the inundations of 1940, 1945 and 1953. A synopsis of the results was given, both from a theoretical and a practical viewpoint.

Current formulae for ion-exchange tested in the laboratory gave fair descriptions for the competition between two species of cations, but were inadequate if more ionic species were involved. The behaviour of Na in flooded soils in competition with K, Mg, and Ca was therefore described by an empirical Naadsorption isotherm.

Flooded soils were considerably enriched in Na, K and Mg. Of these, only Na changed noticeably during the first years after renewed drainage. Na was slowly replaced by Ca derived from CaCO 3 . The changes proceed from top to bottom through the soil profile, the limiting factor being the removal of liberated Na-ions by leaching. The theory of column operation gave a qualitative explanation of the phenomena observed.

The regeneration of flooded soils could be promoted by application of gypsum, calcium chloride or sulphur, of which gypsum was extensively used in practice. Of the gypsum applied, about 50 % was effective in removing exchangeable Na from the upper 20 cms. On this basis, an estimation of gypsum requirements could be made.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Zuur, A.J., Promotor, External person
  • Schuffelen, A.C., Promotor, External person
Award date4 Jul 1958
Place of Publication's-Gravenhage
Publication statusPublished - 1958
Externally publishedYes


  • soil chemistry
  • salinization
  • soil
  • exchangeable cations
  • floods

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    van der Molen, W. H. (1958). The exchangeable cations in soils flooded with sea water. Staatsdrukkerij en Uitgeverijbedrijf.