BEIJING – Chinese researchers have discovered that saline land may be reclaimed by freezing saline water over the soil in winter. In addition, they found that the desalination depth of saline ice meltwater in saline-alkali soil was greater than that of salt-free ice, according to a recent study published in the European Journal of Soil Science.

China has about 100 million hectares of saline-alkali land that lacks adequate freshwater resources. This type of land restricts agricultural production and plant growth. Scientists have been trying to figure out how to turn barren, salty soil into arable land.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology evaluated infiltration and soil desalination after saline ice melted into saline soil. They found that saline ice meltwater went deeper into the saline soil than fresh ice meltwater.

Frozen saline water may improve barren soil

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