Remediation of saline–sodic soil with flue gas desulfurization gypsum in a reclaimed tidal flat of southeast China

Yumei Mao , Xiaping Li , Warren A. Dick , Liming Chen


Received November 09, 2015,Revised January 20, 2016, Accepted January 21, 2016, Available online February 13, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 224-232

Salinization and sodicity are obstacles for vegetation reconstruction of coastal tidal flat soils. A study was conducted with flue gas desulfurization (FGD)-gypsum applied at rates of 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 Mg/ha to remediate tidal flat soils of the Yangtze River estuary. Exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), exchangeable sodium (ExNa), pH, soluble salt concentration, and composition of soluble salts were measured in 10 cm increments from the surface to 30 cm depth after 6 and 18 months. The results indicated that the effect of FGD-gypsum is greatest in the 0–10 cm mixing soil layer and 60 Mg/ha was the optimal rate that can reduce the ESP to below 6% and decrease soil pH to neutral (7.0). The improvement effect was reached after 6 months, and remained after 18 months. The composition of soluble salts was transformed from sodic salt ions mainly containing Na+, HCO3 + CO32 − and Cl to neutral salt ions mainly containing Ca2 + and SO42 −. Non-halophyte plants were survived at 90%. The study demonstrates that the use of FGD-gypsum for remediating tidal flat soils is promising.

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