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Subsurface drainage of some soils suffers from deposition of iron ochre in and around drains. This reduces the seepage of water into drains. In severe cases, drainage systems have been rendered in effective due to a blockage of flow of water into drains. Iron ochre is a gelatinous complex of ferric hydroxide, organic compounds, and microbial components (Ford 1975). Its deposition takes place in a series of steps, beginning with the solubilization of iron under water-logged, anaerobic conditions, subsequent movement through the soil profile and eventual precipitation in and around drains under aerobic conditions (Regamey and Jaton 1976). Al though there is some controversy as to whether ochre deposition is the result of physicochemical or biological phenomena, a predominant portion of the literature on the subject substantiates micro biological mediation in ochre deposition. The problem of iron ochre deposition exists primarily in sandy soils and muck soils underlain with sand (Sojak and Ivarson 1977). There exists a significant amount of actual or potential agricultural land that is susceptible to iron ochre deposition problems.
ochre in subsurface drains in a quebec fine sandy soil
Gameda, S., Jutras, P. J. and R. S. Broughton 1983. OCHRE IN SUBSURFACE DRAINS IN A Quebec FINE SANDY SOIL. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 25(2):209-214.
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