Soil Reduction Rates under Water Saturated Conditions in Relation to Soil Properties.

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Title: Soil Reduction Rates under Water Saturated Conditions in Relation to Soil Properties.
Author: Zelasko, Amanda Jean
Advisors: Michael J Vepraskas, Committee Co-Chair
Dean Hesterberg, Committee Co-Chair
Wei Shi, Committee Member
Daniel Richter, Committee Member
Abstract: The success of wetland restoration projects depends in part on the length of time that a soil is in a reduced redox state. The length of time that a soil is reduced depends on how quickly reduction occurs following saturation with water. The relationship between reduction rate and various soil chemical and mineralogical properties is poorly understood, but such properties might be manipulated to improve the success of wetland restoration projects. The goals of this research were to determine soil properties that predict the rate at which soils undergo reduction when saturated, and to determine the roles of electron donors and acceptors on reduction rates. Sixteen soil samples were collected at various depths from two wetland sites, a Carolina bay (Juniper Bay) and a wetland catena (Frog Level). Soils were incubated in specially designed redox incubators to monitor reduction rates, changes in soil properties, and soil solution chemistry. Soil samples were subjected to three cycles of oxidation and reduction during the course of 36 d. Soil reduction rates were determined from the slopes of linear regression models fit to data for redox potential (Eh) over time. Reduction rates varied among soils from 1.2 to 46.2 mV h-1, and were significantly greater (p-value < 0.05) for soils with total organic carbon (TOC) > 10 g kg-1 than in soils with TOC < 10 g kg-1. Increasing amounts of dissolved Fe(II) were found at Eh values below 500 mV for pH between 4.5 and 5.1. Mineral soils with total reduction rates > 10 mV h-1 released significantly more Fe(II) into solution than mineral soils with reduction rates < 10 mV h-1 (p-value < 0.05). Regression results indicated that organic carbon, an electron donor, was the dominant factor controlling reduction rates up to 10 mV h-1, and an electron acceptor Fe(III) was the dominant factor controlling reduction rates > 10 mV h-1. For wetland restoration purposes multiple linear regression models based on our results that include TOC concentration and pH can be used along with hydrologic data to predict reduction rates in saturated soils.
Date: 2008-08-16
Degree: MS
Discipline: Soil Science

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