Weekend Wanderings: Salt around Swan Hill
There is a big environmental problem around Swan Hill and right through the Mallee. The really sad part about it is that it is a man made problem and is only going to get worse if nothing is done to stop it ruining all the soil up there. The problem is salinity or salt in the soil.
As you drive around you can see the salt pans every where, more in some areas than others. I did some research to find out what causes it and have this extract for you from an article Salinity and water quality fact sheet by the Australian Government.
Secondary salinity has occurred with widespread land clearing and altered land use, and may take the form of “dryland salinity” or “irrigation-induced salinity”. Dryland salinity occurs when deep-rooted native plants are removed or replaced with shallow-rooted plants that use less water. As a result of this vegetation imbalance, more water passes through soil to groundwater, raising the water table and bringing salt to the surface where it can be left behind as the water evaporates. Irrigation-induced salinity occurs when excess water applied to crops travels past the root zone to groundwater, raising the water table and salt to the surface. Salt may also be transported across groundwater systems.
I hope that helps explain why it happens. I have some photos for you now of two areas that I photographed. I hope your weekend is good, it has been far too hot here to do anything but sit around and drink heaps of water. Take care where ever you are.