Geosciences (2020-05-01)

Monitoring and Assessment of Salinity and Chemicals in Agricultural Lands by a Remote Sensing Technique and Soil Moisture with Chemical Index Models

  • Hashim Ali Hasab,
  • Hayder Dibs,
  • Abdulameer Sulaiman Dawood,
  • Wurood Hasan Hadi,
  • Hussain M. Hussain,
  • Nadhir Al-Ansari

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 207
p. 207


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Agricultural land in the south of Iraq provides habitat for several types of living creatures. This land has a significant impact on the ecosystem. The agricultural land of Al-Hawizeh marsh covers an area of more than 3500 km2 and is considered an enriched resource to produce several harvests. A total of 74% of this area suffers from a high degree of salinity and chemical pollution, which needs to be remedied. Several human-made activities and post-war-related events have caused radical deterioration in soil quality in the agricultural land. The goal of this research was to integrate mathematical models, remote sensing data, and GIS to provide a powerful tool to predict, assess, monitor, manage, and map the salinity and chemical parameters of iron (Fe), lead (Pb), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), and zinc (Zn) in the soils of agricultural land in Al-Hawizeh marsh in southern Iraq during the four seasons of 2017. The mathematical model consists of four parts. The first depends on the B6 and B11 bands of Landsat-8, to calculate the soil moisture index (SMI). The second is the salinity equation (SE), which depends on the SMI result to retrieve the salinity values from Landsat-8 images. The third part depends on the B6 and B7 bands of Landsat-8, which calculates the clay chemical index (CCIs). The fourth part is the chemical equation (CE), which depends on the CCI to retrieve the chemical values (Fe, Pb, Cu, Cr, and Zn) from Landsat-8 images. The average salinity concentrations during autumn, summer, spring, and winter were 1175, 1010, 1105, and 1789 mg/dm3, respectively. The average Fe concentrations during autumn, summer, spring and winter were 813, 784, 842, and 1106 mg/dm3, respectively. The average Pb concentrations during autumn, summer, spring, and winter were 4.85, 3.79, 4.74, and 7.2 mg/dm3, respectively. The average Cu concentrations during autumn, summer, spring, and winter were 3.9, 3.1, 4.45, and 7.5 mg/dm3, respectively. The average Cr concentrations during autumn, summer, spring, and winter seasons were 1.28, 0.73, 1.03, and 2.91 mg/dm3, respectively. Finally, the average Zn concentrations during autumn, summer, spring, and winter were 8.25, 6, 7.05, and 12 mg/dm3, respectively. The results show that the concentrations of salinity and chemicals decreased in the summer and increased in the winter. The decision tree (DT) classification depended on the output results for salinity and chemicals for both SE and CE equations. This classification refers to all the parameters simultaneously in one stage. The output of DT classification results can display all the soil quality parameters (salinity, Fe, Pb, Cu, Cr, and Zn) in one image. This approach was repeated for each season in this study. In conclusion, the developed systematic and generic approach may constitute a basis for determining soil quality parameters in agricultural land worldwide.