Goldshlger, Naftaly Mirlas, Vladimir Dor, Eyal Ben Eshel, Mor
Year of Publication:
46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
Numerous cultivated fields are prone to salinization processes, mostly as a result of the use of low quality irrigation water. The degradation of soils in the Jezra'el Valley, one of Israel's most important agricultural areas, is a good example to this phenomenon. In this area, increasing salinity caused by irrigation with domestic effluent water was observed. An increase in the soil salinity is followed with an increase in the soil SAR, that deteriorate soil structure and infiltration rate. The main reason of soil salinization near local water reservoirs is the transition from seasonal reservoirs of winter flood water to an annual water reservoir that collect domestic effluents as well. As a result an increase of the fields water table in the vicinity of the reservoir is evident. This complicated phenomenon emphasizes the importance of testing and mapping the changes in the soil properties caused by irrigation with low water quality to improve the soil and water management in arid regions and prevent the adverse effect to the environment. Soil sampling to determine changes in soil salinity is time consuming. An alternative method is suggested based on remote sensing methodology. In each of the research sites chemical data such as, EC and SAR were acquired from analysis of soil samples and from remote sensing data, using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Electromagnetic Conductivity & Susceptibility (EM). All the mentioned data were applied to GIS analysis. Within the agricultural land, a geo-referenced data base of the changes in the soil's salinity was built, allowing us to map and predict the salinization phenomena for optimal management of the soil salinization processes. The primary spectroscopic results showed that the main mineral found in the soil profile (0-60 cm) were gypsum and sodium chlorite. The primary GPR and EM results showed that there is a possibility to identified buried layers and to observed lateral and vertical changes in the soils profiles.