Where are acid sulfate soils found?
Low-lying coastal areas such as the above are ideal for acid sulfate soils formation
Deposits of acid sulfate soils (ASS) are commonly found less than five metres above sea level, particularly in low-lying coastal areas. Mangroves, salt marshes, floodplains, swamps, wetlands, estuaries, and brackish or tidal lakes are ideal areas for acid sulfate soil formation.
The presence of ASS may not be obvious on the soil surface as they are often buried beneath layers of more recently deposited soils and sediments of alluvial or aeolian origin.
There are an estimated 2.3 million ha of ASS long 6500 km of the Queensland coastline (GIF image, 17 kB), with extensive areas along the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York, central Queensland and the Moreton region. In New South Wales, Naylor’s mapping1 indicated the presence of about 600 000 ha of ASS.
Inland ASS may also occur in river and lake beds, irrigation channels, and in saline seepage areas.
See Graham and Larsen2 for further information.
- Naylor SD, Chapman GA, Atkinson G, Murphy CL, Talau MJ, Felwin TC, Milford HB and Morand DT (1995). Guidelines for the use of acid sulphate soils risks maps, New South Wales Soil Conservation Service. Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney, New South Wales.
- Graham TL and Larsen RM (2000), 'Coastal Geomorphology: Progressing the Understanding of Acid Sulfate Soil Distribution', In Acid Sulfate Soils: Environmental Issues, Assessment and Management, Technical Papers. Ahern CR, Hey KM, Watling KM and Eldershaw VJ (eds), Brisbane, 20–22 June, 2000, Department of Natural Resources, Indooroopilly, Queensland.
Last reviewed 16 December 2011
Last updated 30 October 2007