What Are Acid Sulfate Soils?x
The term Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS) is used to describe sulfide-rich, natural soils, sediments and peat deposits, which can lead to the formation of sulfuric acid as a result of material disturbance and exposure to the atmosphere.
ASS are typically situated in wet, anaerobic (low oxygen or ‘reducing’) environments and are present along much of the NSW coast and within inland river or swamp systems.
ASS can become disturbed during excavation and broad-scale drainage works or as a result of groundwater dewatering. These activities expose the sulfide minerals to air, which cause oxidation of the sulphide minerals, leading to the formation of sulfuric acid.