Mapping soil salinity changes using remote sensing in Central Iraq

Published Date
December 31, 2014
Type
Journal Article
Mapping soil salinity changes using remote sensing in Central Iraq
Authors:
Weicheng Wu
Ahmad S. Mhaimeed, Waleed M. Al-Shafie, Feras M. Ziadat, Boubaker Dhehibi, Vinay Nangia, Eddy De Pauw

Salinization is a common problem for agriculture in dryland environments and it has greatly affected land productivity
and even caused cropland abandonment in Central and Southern Iraq. Hence it is of pressing importance to
quantify the spatial distribution of salinity and its changing trend in space and time and ascertain the driving forces
thereof. This study aims at such a diachronic salinity mapping and analysis using multitemporal remote sensing
taking a pilot site, the Dujaila area in Central Iraq, as an example. For this purpose, field survey and soil sampling
were conducted in the 2011–2012 period, and a multitemporal remote sensing dataset consisting of satellite imagery
dated 1988–1993, 1998–2002, and 2009–2012 was prepared. An innovative processing approach, the multiyear
maxima-based modeling approach, was proposed to develop remote sensing salinity models. After
evaluation of their suitability, the relevantmodelswere applied to the images formultitemporal salinitymapping,
quantification, and change tracking in space and time. The driving causes of salinization in the study area were
evaluated. The results reveal that the developed salinity models can reliably predict salinity with an accuracy of
82.57%, indicating that our mappingmethodology is relevant and extendable to other similar environments. In addition,
salinity has experienced significant changes in the past 30 years in Dujaila, especially, very strongly salinized
land got continuously expanded, and all these changes are related to land use practices and management
of farmers, which are closely associated with the macroscopic socioeconomic environment of the country.

Citation:
Weicheng Wu, Ahmad S. Mhaimeed, Waleed M. Al-Shafie, Feras M. Ziadat, Boubaker Dhehibi, Vinay Nangia, Eddy De Pauw. (31/12/2014). Mapping soil salinity changes using remote sensing in Central Iraq. Geoderma Regional, 2-3, pp. 21-31.