Item 14 of 17
Indicator 11 – soil surface
What do you see and when?
- Milky tea coloured water on surface
- Best seen after rain
- Soils form surface crust & set hard when dry
- Best seen once soil is dry
What could this indicate?
- Soil dispersion
- Individual clay particles separate from one another when soil becomes wet due to excessive sodium and insufficient organic matter binding the soil together.
- Soil crumbs break apart when wet due to low organic matter which results in surface crusting.
- Often seen dispersion of soil crumbs; collapsed around gateways.
What test can I do to confirm?
- Soil test with reference to the amount and proportion of sodium compared to calcium, potassium and magnesium.
- An aggregate stability test. This involves placing small soil crumbs (sized about 5-10mm) into a dish with distilled water and observing their reaction over time.
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