Standard Article

99 Salinization

Part 8. Water Quality and Biogeochemistry

  1. John Ruprecht,
  2. Shawan Dogramaci

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa102

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Ruprecht, J. and Dogramaci, S. 2006. Salinization. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 8:99.

Author Information

  1. Department of Environment, Salinity and Land Use Impacts Branch, Resource Science Division, East Perth, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Salinization of land and water resources is a major environmental and economic problem facing many parts of the world. Soil salinization and the consequent degradation of agricultural land are proceeding so fast that many countries may not be able to achieve sustainable agriculture to feed their population in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, many important ecosystems and internationally recognized wetlands are under serious threat from the increased salinity.

Salinization is the process by which the concentration of total dissolved solids in water or soil is increased because of natural or human-induced processes.

Many aspects of hydrological science underpin the understanding of salinization. The knowledge and understanding of the movement of water and salt from the atmosphere, through landscapes and rivers are essential to understanding salinization.

The main approaches to assessing the impacts of land and water salinization and to evaluating potential solutions include process studies, catchment studies, modeling, and statistical analysis. Each of these is discussed in more detail in the article. A summary of the models available for salinity studies is also outlined.


  • salinization;
  • salinity;
  • dryland salinity;
  • irrigation salinity;
  • salt leaching