Dryland salinity is a hydrologically driven land degradation hazard in the south-west agricultural region of Western Australia (WA). Shallow-rooted annual crops and pastures transpire significantly less water than the native vegetation they replaced, leading to an increase in recharge, rising groundwater levels and the development of shallow watertables in areas where often none existed previously. Rising groundwater levels mobilise soluble salts, naturally stored at high concentrations in the regolith. These salts can be concentrated in the root zone of vegetation by evapotranspiration.
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Groundwater, salinity risk, south-west, hydrozone, geology
Raper, G P, Speed, R, Simons, J A, Killen, A L, Blake, A, Ryder, A T, Smith, R H, Stainer, G, and Bourke, L. (2014), Groundwater trend analysis and salinity risk assessment for the south-west agricultural region of Western Australia, 2007–12. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth. Report 388.
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