Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 12, Issue 3&4,2014
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Assessing salt-affected degraded soils using remote sensing Case study: Al-Qassim region, Saudi Arabia


Abdulla S. Modaihsh, Abdelazeem Sh. Sallam, Adel M. Ghoneim *, Mohamed O. Mahjoub

Recieved Date: 2014-05-07, Accepted Date: 2014-09-30


Continued unplanned and unscientific exploitation of land resources could result in land degradation. Mis-management regarding land and land use practices are aggravated by over-exploitation of water and land resources, over cultivation of marginal lands, and the use of inappropriate technologies. Identification of land degradation is essential to check the problem and to implement the remedial measures needed. The study area falls under parts of Al-Qassim province, Saudi Arabia, that is an arid region in climate. In recent years, the region has witnessed an intensive agriculture and unplanned utilization of natural resources, which may result in land degradation. This study was carried out in 2006-2007 as part of a project aimed to study features and causes of land degradation in Al-Qassim area, Saudi Arabia. Satellite imagery in addition to the field and laboratory studies to identify salinity-induced soil degradation was adopted in this study. Identification of different land degradation types revealed that calcareous and salt-affected area covers about 4335.86 km2. The major degradation process is chemical degradation, particularly by salinization, which affects vast area of the cultivated soils in the region. Morphological, chemical and physical characteristics of soils in salinity-induced degraded sites in Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia, were depicted. The main results of a thorough evaluation of salinity-induced soil degradation in Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia, are presented. The data revealed that extent of salinity-induced degradation was generally related to some physical properties of soil, quality of irrigation water and previous soil management practices. These results are useful as the basis for designing soil conservation and restoration programs, as a base line for evaluating the performance of conservation programs and for assessing the impact of other soil-related activities (e.g. agriculture and livestock rising).


Soil degradation, S-induced land degradation, remote sensing

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2014
Volume: 12
Issue: 3&4
Category: Environment
Pages: 383-388

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