Deterioration of Concrete Ditch Liners in Saline-Alkali Soil

by Luther B. Grass, Soil Sci.; Imperial Valley Conservation Res. Ctr., Agric. Res. Service, Brawley, CA,
Paul Koluvek, Irrig. and Drainage Engrg. Specialist; Soil Conservation Service, Riverside, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 4, Pg. 477-484

Document Type: Journal Paper


Irrigation head ditches are normally installed at a slightly higher elevation than the field they serve. Since moisture diffuses toward the highest elevation, evaporation and salt accumulation are greatest in the crest of the earthen berm, where the first indications of damage appear. Continual contact with saline solutions causes the concrete to disintegrate by chemical reactions. As dissolution continues, the concrete mass is physically weakened. Sudden temperature changes, due to water entering the ditch while daytime temperatures are high or temperature differences in a partially filled ditch, create strain on the weakened concrete mass, and eventually cause it to break. This results in an accelerated chemical attack, and eventually the liner needs replacement.

Subject Headings: Mass concrete | Temperature effects | Deterioration | Concrete | Linings | Salinity | Irrigation | Moisture

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