Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Soil Salinity

Figure from experiment 9 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry

Introduction

Soil salinity is a measure of the saltiness of the soil. Many plants have trouble growing in soil that contains too much salt. High soil salinity makes it more difficult for plants to get water from the soil and can interfere with their obtaining the proper nutrients. The table below provides a general idea of the effect salinity has on plants.

Soil can become saline by the natural weathering of minerals, irrigation, or run-off from salted roads. Poor drainage and hot, dry weather also contribute to the build-up of salt in the soil. Sodium chloride, NaCl, is the most common salt, but others such as calcium chloride, CaCl2, and magnesium sulfate, MgSO4, are often present as well.

Soil salinity is determined by measuring the electrical conductivity of a soil-water mixture. The higher the salinity of the soil, the higher the conductivity of this mixture will be.

Objectives

In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Conductivity Probe and learn soil salinity measuring technique as you determine the salinity of a soil sample. Soil salinity is commonly reported in units of dS/m, deciSiemens per meter.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about soil salinity before you then choose and investigate a researchable question.

Sensors and Equipment

This investigation features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry »

Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Seasons and Angle of Insolation
2A Local Weather Study
3Investigating Dissolved Oxygen
4Water Quality
5Long Term Water Monitoring
6Water Treatment
7Investigating Salinity
8Soil Temperature
9Soil Salinity
10Soil pH
11Soil Moisture
12Soil and Acid Rain
13Managing Garden Soil Moisture
14Cell Respiration (CO2)
15Biodiversity in Ecosystems
16Biochemical Oxygen Demand
17Water Cycle Column Investigations
18Decomposition Column Investigations
19Ecocolumn Investigations
20Global Warming
21UV Investigations
22Comparing Sunscreens
23Primary Productivity
24Modeling Population Growth
25Insulation Study
26Fossil Fuels
27Energy Conversion
28Wind Power
29Photovoltaic Cells
30Investigation of Passive Solar Heating
31The Effect of Acid Deposition on Aquatic Ecosystems
32Measuring Particulates
33Investigating Indoor Carbon Dioxide Concentrations
34A Pollution Study

Investigation 9 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry Lab Book

<em>Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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