The research investigated the process of excess water formation. Complex measurement stations were developed in order to determine the most important hydro-meteorological and soil factors contributing to the formation of excess water. The stations measure the amount of precipitation, evapotranspiration, evaporation from water surface, soil moisture in 3 different depths; soil temperature in 5 different depths; furthermore, soil water level. The study area is located in the southeastern part of Hungary, near Szeged, in the flood plain of Tisza and Maros with extremely clayey soils. The former soil data were completed by new soil survey to determine several soil parameters (e.g. bulk density, porosity, field capacity, saturated hydraulic conductivity). Infiltration was calculated from the measured parameters and water budget elements of bigger rainfall event were analyzed between March 2010 and August 2011. Genetic types of excess water can be separated based on the data.
Nowadays there is a growing demand for rapid and accurate determination of grain size distribution. The conventional pipette method is time-consuming and provides less detailed data compared to recently introduced methods. However, in Hungarian practice the pipette method is still considered to be the standard one, as there are a long series of measurements, and grain size thresholds used in sedimentology and soil sciences are based on this approach. The aim of our research was to determine the comparability of the laser diffraction method (LDM) with the conventional pipette method (PM), in order to investigate the controversial question on the interchangeability of the two methods. Based on our measurements on some representative fluvial sediment samples, we found that the largest difference in results can be expected in the silty grain size range. However if the main fractions (clay, silt, sand) are considered the methods provided similar very results, and correlation factors were above 0.92. In all, the LDM has a clear advantage because of its speed, reproducibility and fewer possibilities for operator failure.
25% and 40% of territory of Hungary is moderate to highly vulnerable to deflation. However, precise estimates about the soil loss and related losses of organic matter and nutrients due to wind erosion are missing in most cases. In order to determine magnitudes of nutrient masses removed at wind velocities that frequently occur in SE Hungary, in-situ experiments using a portable wind tunnel have been conducted on small test plots with an erosional length of 5.6 m and a width of 0.65 m. The wind tunnel experiments have been carried through on a Chernozem which is typical for this region. In order to compare the effects of soil coverage on the masses of blown soil sediment and adsorbed nutrients, two soil surface types have been tested under similar soil moisture und atmospheric conditions: (1) bare soil (dead fallow) and (2) bare soil surface interrupted by a row of maize plants directed downwind along the center line of the test plots. The results of our experiments clearly show that a constant wind velocity of 15 m s-1 (at a height of 0.3 m) lasting over a short time period of 10 minutes can already cause noticeable changes in the composition and size of soil aggregates at the top of the soil surface. Due to the grain size selectivity of the erosive forces the relative share of soil aggregates comprising diameters > 1 mm increased by 5-10% compared with the unaffected soil. Moreover it has shown that short time wind erosion events as simulated in this study can result in erosion rates between 100 and 120 g m-2, where the erosion rates measured for bare soils are only slightly, but not significantly higher than those of the loosely vegetated ones. Soil samples taken from sediment traps mounted in different heights close to the outlet of the wind tunnel point to an enrichment of organic matter (OM) of about 0.6 to 1 % by mass referred to the control samples. From these findings has been calculated that the relocation of organic matter within short term wind erosion events can amount to 4.5 to 5.0 g OM m-2. With the help of portable field wind tunnel experiments we can conclude that our valuable, high quality chernozems are struck by wind erosion mainly in drought periods.
Freshwater carbonate deposit, as a special phenomenon in the Danube-Tisza Interfluve, located in the centre of Hungary, is a significant geological heritage in the Carpathian Basin. At present there is not any applicable method to investigate the presence of carbonate layers in an undisturbed way, as neither vegetation nor morphological characteristics indicate unambiguously these formations. Ground-penetrating radar technology is widely used in various earth science related researches, and the number of applications is steadily increasing. The aim of the study was to determine the spatial extension of freshwater limestone using geophysical methods near Lake Kolon, Hungary. The lake, which is now a protected wetland area with opened water surfaces, was formed in the paleo-channel of the River Danube. Measurements were performed with the help of ground-penetrating radar, the results were calibrated by high spatial resolution drillings. Investigations have been made since 2012, and freshwater limestone was detected at several locations determining the more exact extension of the formation. Ground-penetrating radar proved to be an appropriate method to detect the compact and fragmented freshwater limestone layers in such an environment. However, based on the results the method can be best applied under dry soil or sediment conditions while the uncertainty of the results increases significantly as a matter of higher soil moisture. Further control measurements are necessary verified by several drillings in order to give an exact method to determine freshwater limestone.
Agriculture is one of the major fields, where sewage sludge can be used. Its high nutrient content can contribute to the improvement of important soil properties, such as nutrient content, water balance and soil structure. However, sewage sludge may contain hazardous components, such as pathogens and pollutants. Therefore, it is important to monitor the effects of its field application. In this paper, we assessed the impacts of two low-dose (2.5 m3/ha) municipal sewage sludge compost applications (in 2013 and in 2017) in a 5.6 ha arable land in southeast Hungary (near Újkígyós), located in the Hungarian Great Plain. The nutrient and the heavy metal contents in the upper soil layer (0-30 cm) of the studied Chernozem soils were compared between two sampling campaigns in 2013 (before the compost applications) and in 2018 (after the compost applications). Basic soil properties (pH, salinity, humus content, carbonate content, Arany yarn number) complemented with nutrient content (K2O, P2O5, NO2+ NO3) and heavy metal content (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) analyses were performed. The results show that no significant change can be noticed in the baseline parameters over the 5-year period. The slight increase in the P2O5, NO2+ NO3 content is closely related to the beneficial effects of the sewage sludge deposition. The soil-bound heavy metal load did not increase significantly as a result of the compost treatments, only nickel showed a slight increase in the topsoil. In all cases the heavy metal concentrations did not reach the contamination thresholds set by Hungarian standards. The results provided positive evidences proving that low dose municipal sewage sludge compost disposal on agricultural land is safe, and can be considered as a sustainable soil amendment for agriculture in compliance with legal requirements.