Amending highly weathered soils with finely ground basalt rock

Gillman, G.P., Burkett, D.C., and Coventry, R.J. (2002) Amending highly weathered soils with finely ground basalt rock. Applied Geochemistry, 17 (8). pp. 987-1001.

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Surface (0–10 cm) samples of 7 soils from tropical coastal Queensland were incubated at room temperature and at field capacity with finely ground (<150 μ) basalt rock for 3 months. The amendment was applied at 0, 1, 5, 25 and 50 t/ha to cover situations of moderate application rates to that where the amendment might be banded to produce high local concentrations. Having an abrasion pH of about 9, the amendment was able to reduce both active acidity (as estimated by an increase in soil pH) and reserve acidity (reduction in % Al saturation of the CEC). Increases in soil pH resulted in increased CEC, depending on the variable charge nature of each soil, accompanied by increases in exchangeable Ca, Mg, and K supplied by the basalt. The amounts of basic cations converted to exchangeable form constituted only a fraction of the amounts applied. Thus the cations held in reserve ensure that the effect of cation enrichment will be prolonged. In some soils phosphate sorption was significantly reduced by crushed basalt application. Furthermore, ‘available’ P as measured by extraction with 0.005 M H2SO4 was increased. These effects appear to be due to the release of silicate from the basalt as well as modest amounts of phosphate in the rock. Three extractants commonly used for estimating Si availability in sugarcane production indicated that all 7 soils contained sub-optimal levels of the element. Application of crushed basalt rock increased extractable Si levels above what is considered sufficient for this crop. The incubated soils were placed in columns and leached with the equivalent of 2750-mm (average wet season) rainfall. Re-analysis showed that the favourable chemical soil properties imparted by the amendment were retained. These results add further support to the contention that the effects of amelioration will continue for some time

Item ID: 13470
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9134
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2010 23:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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