Remote sensing approaches and mapping methods for monitoring soil salinity under different climate regimes

International Journal of Environment and Geoinformatics, March 2019

Remote sensing approaches and mapping methods for monitoring soil salinity under different climate regimes

Taha Gorji, Aylin Yildirim, Elif Sertel, Aysegul Tanik

Abstract: Soil salinization is one of the severe land-degradation problems due to its adverse effects on land productivity. Each year several hectares of lands are degraded due to primary or secondary soil salinization, and as a result, it is becoming a major economic and environmental concern in different countries.  Spatio-temporal mapping of soil salinity is therefore important to support decision-making procedures for lessening adverse effects of land degradation due to the salinization. In that sense, satellite-based technologies provide cost effective, fast, qualitative and quantitative spatial information on saline soils.

The main objective of this work is to highlight the recent remote sensing (RS) data and methods to assess soil salinity that is a worldwide problem. In addition, this study indicates potential linkages between salt-affected land and the prevailing climatic conditions of the case study areas being examined. Web of Science engine is used for selecting relevant articles. “Soil salinity” is used as the main keyword for finding “articles” that are published from January 1, 2007 up to April 30, 2018. Then, 3 keywords; “remote sensing”, “satellite” and “aerial” were used to filter the articles. After that, 100 case studies from 27 different countries were selected. Remote sensing based researches were further overviewed regarding to their location, spatial extent, climate regime, remotely sensed data type, mapping methods, sensing approaches together with the reason of salinity for each case study. In addition, soil salinity mapping methods were examined to present the development of different RS based methods with time. Studies are shown on the Köppen-Geiger climate classification map. Analysis of the map illustrates that 63% of the selected case study areas belong to arid and semi-arid regions. This finding corresponds to soil characteristics of arid regions that are more susceptible to salinization due to extreme temperature, high evaporation rates and low precipitation.

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