TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 61 (No. 3), pp. 591-601, 2005

Influence of Salinity on pH and Aluminum Concentration on the Interaction of Acidic Red Soil with Seawater

Mohamed M. Kombo, Said A. Vuai, Maki Ishiki and Akira Tokuyama*

Graduate School of Engineering and Science, University of the Ryukyus, Senbaru, Nishihara-cho, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan

(Received 3 October 2003; in revised form 4 October 2004; accepted 4 October 2004)

Abstract: Contamination of acidic red soil in the coastal areas of Okinawa Islands is a serious environmental problem. This study was conducted to examine the effects of the salinity on pH and aluminum concentration when the acidic red soil interacts with seawater. Acidic red soil from Gushikawa recreation center was fractionated into bulk soil, coarse sand and silt + clay. Different weights of each fraction were equilibrated with seawater solutions. The pH and concentrations of Al3+, Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ were then analyzed in the extracts. The results showed a decreasing trend of pH with increasing soil to solution ratio while the extracted Al3+ revealed an increasing trend. The lowest pH values were 3.85, 4.06, 4.41, 4.66 and their corresponding highest Al3+ concentrations were 2.50, 1.01, 0.062 and 0.036 mmolL-1 in the seawater extracts, one-tenth seawater extracts, one-hundredth seawater extracts and one-thousandth seawater solution extracts, respectively. Mostly, the concentrations of Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and especially K+ decreased with increasing soil weight in the high salinities but showed the opposite trend in the low salinity samples. Potassium concentration decreased by 39%, 53% and 40% in the seawater extracts, one-tenth and one-hundredth seawater extracts but increased by 200% in one-thousandth seawater extracts. The coincidence of the increase in Al3+ and H+ concentrations, and the decrease of Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentrations in the solutions suggests ion exchange/adsorption, while the increased patterns, particularly at low salinity could be attributed to the dissolution of the species from the soils.

*Corresponding author E-mail: atoku@sci.u-ryukyu.ac.jp

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