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Geochemical characteristics of soils in Fezzan, Sahara desert : implications for environment and agriculture

Maryol, E and Lin, C 2015, 'Geochemical characteristics of soils in Fezzan, Sahara desert : implications for environment and agriculture' , Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 158 , pp. 122-131.

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An investigation was conducted to geochemically characterize the soils in Fezzan of the Sahara desert in order to assess (a) the role of the soils as a carbon store, (b) the potential risk of the fine-grained soil fraction as a dust source, and (c) the potential soil constraints for the development of irrigation agriculture. The results show that, on average, there was about 0.7% of carbon stored in the topsoil with approximately 1/3 being inorganic carbon and 2/3 being organic carbon. The fine-grained soil fraction contained 2.13% of Fe and 252 mg/kg of phosphorus, indicating that the Fezzan area could be an important source of ocean iron and phosphorus. Manganese and strontium were identified as the major chemical pollutants potentially present in the dusts. The soils were generally alkaline and saline. Sodium dominated the soluble basic cations with a mean sodium adsorption ratio N16. Calcium dominated the exchangeable basic cations with a mean exchangeable sodium percentage of 6.52, suggesting thatmost of the topsoils were not sodic. However, there was a tendency that sodicity increased with depth for some soils. Different strategies are proposed for reclaiming the soils using the groundwater from the Great Man-made River Project.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geochemical Exploration
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0375-6742
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: C Lin
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 14:02
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 14:02

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