Indicators of salinity

Indicators are signs or symptoms that suggest salinity might be affecting a site. There are many different indicators for salinity and some common examples include:

  • Areas becoming bare and 'scalded'.
  • A white salt crust on brickwork.
  • Changes in crop health.
  • Seepage areas in roads.
  • Patches of salt-tolerant plants developing.
  • White crusts on soil surface when dry.
  • Corrosion of water, gas and sewerage pipes.
  • Tree decline or unhealthy grasses and shrubs.

Indicators are not always easy to detect and may take several years to emerge as a full-blown salinity problem. Some salinity indicators may be similar to those caused by other problems, for example, tree dieback may also be caused by non-saline waterlogging, insect attack or fungal diseases.

Site specific investigations can confirm the presence and severity of salinity. Techniques for measuring and assessing salinity are briefly explained in 'measuring salinity'

Additional resources that will help you identify and assess salinity include:

Page last updated: 11 October 2013