Cation influence on sulfate leaching in allophanic soils

R. Cichota, I. Vogeler, N. S. Bolan, B. E. Clothier

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6 Citations (Scopus)


We have examined the influence of the ionic composition of the soil solution on the movement of sulfate and calcium in 2 New Zealand soils with differing allophane content. For this study, we have carried out a series of miscible displacement experiments using repacked and intact soil columns, in which sulfate was applied in the presence of either calcium or potassium as the accompanying cation. Our results showed that sulfate leaching was significantly retarded in the soil with higher allophane content when applied with calcium. On the other hand, no effects were observed for all studied soils when potassium was used as the accompanying cation. In addition, in soils with high allophane content, calcium also had its retention increased when sulfate was present. The increase in sulfate adsorption was accompanied by corresponding increase in calcium adsorption. These findings evidenced the presence of co-adsorption, or ion-pair adsorption (IPA), in allophane-containing soils. The extent of this adsorption is dependent on the soil pH, the accompanying cation, and the allophane content of the soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Soil Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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