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Phosphorus movement through sandy soils and groundwater in the Peel Harvey catchment area

Cameron, I. and Ho, G.E. (1984) Phosphorus movement through sandy soils and groundwater in the Peel Harvey catchment area. In: Hodgkin, E.P. (ed.). Potential for the Management of the Peel Harvey Estuary: proceedings of the Peel-Harvey Study Symposium held at the University of Western Australia, 28 - 29 November 1983, Perth, Western Australia pp. 249-253.

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A primary aim of cur research is to establish within a defined catchment area actual migration or dispersion of phosphorus applied as phosphated fertiliser through the catchments soil structure and associated groundwater. Phosphorus moves through soil and groundwater with rainfall water as its carrier medium. An understanding of phosphorus movement therefore requires an understanding of how rainfall water moves through the catchment area. This understanding can be derived from a study of the hydrology (including groundwater hydrology) of the catchment. A quantification of the hydrologic cycle over the catchment is necessary to determine the amount of water lost to the atmosphere from evaporation and evapotranspiration, the amount of water flowing as surface run-off and the amount infiltrating through the soil and eventually to the groundwater.

An understanding of the movement of phosphorus through soils and groundwater also requires an understanding of how phosphorus interacts with soil, how it is adsorbed, precipitated and perhaps desorbed from soil and how the adsorption of soil for phosphorus is affected by time.

Finally, we have to combine our understanding of the hydrology and soil chemistry components so that we have a coherent overall picture of the phosphorus movement, especially since phosphorus removal by soil is known to be time dependent. Our work concentrates on providing the link between the groundwater hydrology and soil chemistry components through a modelling technique incorporating both. Though we will rely and make use of results available in the hydrology and .soil chemistry areas o£ the project, we will also conduct laboratory experiments that will provide values for the parameters of our model.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Department of Conservation and Environment, Bulletin no. 160
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