Remediation of brine-contaminated soil using calcium nitrate, gypsum, and straw

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Nielsen, Jennifer I.
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Salt-affected soils from point source brine contamination are common in the active oil field in SE Saskatchewan. A remediation process that included dewatering by sub-surface tile drains, application of surface amendments (calcium nitrate and straw), and growing forages has been successful but not previously examined. In a field study of two remediation sites, the changes in vegetation, soil salinity, and groundwater were assessed using geo-referenced electromagnetic (EM) maps (EM38h, EM38v, and EM31v), piezometers, and soil sampling. A laboratory soil core leaching experiment studied the effect of gypsum, calcium nitrate, and straw at various rates on the remediation of a brine-contaminated soil. All treatments including the control reduced the electrical conductivity (EC) to non-saline values (<4 dS m-1). The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) was reduced to <13 with the high rates of gypsum and calcium nitrate. The fastest and most effective treatments were comprised of all rates of gypsum and the highest rate of calcium nitrate.
remediation, brine-contaminated