Abstract Zinc movement was studied in relation to moisture regime, element source, and method of application in soil columns constructed from samples of surface layers of Begu loamy sand and Gurgaon sandy loam. Maximum movement was only 10 mm laterally and 40 mm downward. The amount of zinc and the distance moved were greatest under the wettest regime. Movement was also greater in loamy sand than sandy loam columns, with Zn-EDTA rather than sulphate as the source, and when the amount of zinc was greater for a given volume of soil material. The effect of urea, monocalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and farmyard manure on the movement of zinc was determined at one moisture level in columns constructed from samples of surface layers of Begu loamy sand and Thana loam. The movement of zinc within the soil columns was reduced by all four treatments.