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Photonirvachak

J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657

RESEARCH ARTICLE

Mapping of Soil Degradation Hazards by Remote Sensing in


Hanumangarh District (Western Rajasthan)

Pramila Raina . Mahesh Kumar . Mohar Singh

Received: 16 December 2008 / Accepted: 19 August 2009

Keywords Soil degradation . Remote sensing . Rajasthan (Hanumangarh)

Abstract In the present study, efforts have been erosion combinedly. Nearly 38.7% area is subjected
made to identify and map areas affected by to slight and moderate degradation, which can easily
various soil degradation processes in Hanumangarh be combated by adopting the suggested techniques
district of western Rajasthan. Soil degradation and 17.1% area is free of hazard. Soil degradation
processes were identified by using IRS-1B satellite processes have resulted in the loss of organic
image of the year 1998, SOI toposheets, ground truth carbon, available Phosphorus and Potassium. Soil
verification and soil studies. The kind, extent and degradation due to water logging/salinization has
degree of soil degradation have been mapped in an also shown a significant increase in electrical
area of 9703 km2. The study reveals that the soil conductivity and available potassium content of soil.
degradation problems were mainly due to wind
erosion/deposition and water-logging, followed by
salinity/alkalinity, water erosion and wind and water Introduction

Soil degradation mapping is one of most important


requirement for its planning management and
P. Raina . M. Kumar ( ) . M. Singh conservation. Soil degradation processes are site
Central Arid Zone Research Institute, specific and differ in kind, intensity and aerial
(ICAR), Jodhpur – 342003
coverage of the affected area. An important
Rajasthan, India
characteristic that makes soils of arid Rajasthan
vulnerable to degradation is its sandy texture and
slow speed of their recovery well as formation of new
email : maheshcazri@gmail.com soil. Salts once accumulated, tend to remain in sites.
648 J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657

In-spite of all this, with the introduction of Indira Vegetation is largely dominated by the trees Acacia
Gandhi canal, a large area of the district is being nilotica, Dalbergia sissoo, and Eucalyptus. The
brought under irrigation and converted in the zone common shrubs and herbs found in the study area
of intensive agriculture. The older alluvial plain area are Ziziphus nummularia, Capparis decidua,
of Tibbi, Hanumangarh, Pilibanga and Rawatsar Calligonum polygonoides, Aerva, etc. Waterlogged
tehsils particularly which is coming under Indra areas are infested mainly by Typha angustata.
Gandhi canal command, have severe environmental Grasses are Senchrus setigerus and Lasirus sindicus
degradation impact in both way. At one hand water- and Panicum turgidum. Soils are deep to very deep
logging, salinity and rise in ground water table is with fine to coarse texture. In southern rainfed zone
taking place and another hand due to deep the major soil groups are sandy to loamy sand at
ploughing through tractors, the un-stabilized sandy places underlained by lime concretion and
soils are becoming more vulnerable to wind erosion. gypsiferous substrata. The surface is covered with
Therefore, it was essential to characterize and map sand hummocks and sand dunes.
the degraded areas, so that site specific development
plans could be made to solve the problem of soil
degradation through wind erosion and water logging/
salinization.
In this paper, remote sensing techniques have
been applied for the identification and mapping of
degraded areas and their causes, extent and severity
in Hanumangarh district. Because this is very useful
in updating the land degradation maps with current
satellite imagery. In arid and semi arid regions,
satellite data have been found useful for mapping
degraded lands (Sehgal and Sharma,1988; Saxena
et al., 1991; Singh et al., 1992; Raina et al., 1991, 1993
and Raina, 1999). The effect of degradation
processes on physico-chemical properties of soil
has also been repoted.

Material and method


Fig. 1 Location map of the study area.
Study area
The Hanumangarh district is located in the northern Mapping soil degradation
part of the Rajasthan state covering 9703 km2 area
lies in the arid region (Latitude 28o 46′ 30′′ to 29o 57′ Criteria for mapping soil degradation: The land
20′′ N and Longitude 73o 49′ 55′′ to 75o 31′ 32′′ E). degradation methodology suggested by Oldeman
The south and south eastern part is rainfed, whereas et al. (1991) and Sehgal (1996) with slight
the northern and central part is irrigated by canal. modification, according to local terrain and climatic
The average annual rainfall is 293.0 mm. The mean parameters (Raina et al., 1993) for assessment of wind
maximum and minimum temperature during summer erosion, water erosion, salinization and Kapoor and
season are 42.1 o C and 20.0 o C, respectively. Kavdia (1994) for assessment of waterlogging
J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657 649

(Tables 1 and 2) was adopted for identifying the area to its biotic functions in case of pasture and forest
degraded due to different types of degradation soil, either due to overgrazing or removal of trees for
processes and their degree of degradation. The domestic uses. Causative factors were also identified.
degree to which soil has been degraded were Field studies: Geocoded sub-scene IRS 1 B (path
estimated in relation to changes in agricultural 032 and row 47) of January 1998 of scale 1:50,000
suitability in case of cultivated land and in relation obtained from the National Remote Sensing Centre

Table 1 Criteria for assessing soil degradation


Area degraded Assessment Slight Moderate Severe Very severe
due to different factor
processes
Area subjected Surface features Thick sand Thick sand Degraded dunes Degraded dunes
to wind erosion deposition deposition along and very thick and Barchan
along fence fence lines and on sand sheet dunes
lines fields, sandy
hummocks
Percentage of 30-70 10-30 0-10 Nil
area covered
with vegetation
Area subjected Surface features Shallow soil, Occasional rock Undulating rocky Boulders and
to water erosion Gravels and out crop, soil area gullies in rock exposure
stones cover eroded/deposited 10 % area cover 50 % or
10 % or less in patches formation of
network of wide
gullies
Type of water Slight surface Moderate surface Heavy surface run Heavy surface
erosion run off and run off and sheet off, few gully run off gully
sheet erosion erosion moderate erosion erosion
to heavy
Sub soil exposed Less than 5 5-10 10-15 15 and above
Percent of area
Soil thickness 60 40-60 10-10 Less than 10
(cm) (Gravelly strata (Gravelly strata)
without soil)
Percentage of More than 50 50-25 25-10 Less than 10
area covered
with vegetation
Area subjected Surface features Manifestation Few small spots of Frequent small Frequent small
to salinization & of salts not salts in the upper spots of salts spots of salts
alkalization visible dry part of profile
Salt layer Substrata Salts presents in Salts in 30 cm Salts in 30 cm
location in soil salinity below sub surface soil layer layer
profiles 80 cm 30-60 cm
Profile salinity 1-4 4-8 8-12 8-12
(EC dSm-1)
(Source: P. Raina et al., 1993; Sehgal, 1996)
650 J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657

Table 2 Criteria for assessment of water logging/ sites terrain characteristics were observed, including
salinization in canal command area degradation features, water-logging in terms of water
table, wind erosion in terms of sand sheeting,
Potentially sensitive Water table less than 6 meter
areas below the ground formation of hummocks and dunes. At several sites
soil characteristics for example texture, colour, depth
Critical areas Water table lies between 1 and and underlying strata were recorded (Soil survey
1.5 meter of the ground
staff 1975) by examining auger holes. Surface (0-30
surface
cm) and sub-surface (30 - 60 cm). Soil samples were
Water logged areas Depth of water table is less collected from degraded and non-degraded sites.
than 1 meter
Stagnant water Depth of standing water range Laboratory studies: The collected soil samples were
from 0.5 to 3 meter analysed for appraisal of salinity/alkalinity and
fertility status. The soil pH and electrical
Water logging and White crust on the fringe of
Salinization standing water
conductivity were determined in soil:water extract
(1:2),Organic carbon (oxidisable matter) was
determined by chromic acid with H2SO4 digestion,
Centre (NRSAC), Hyderabad was interpreted in available P by chloro-stannous acid reduced
conjunction with Survey of India topo-maps of the molybdo-phosphoric blue color method and
same scale. Based on the tonal characteristics on IRS available K by 1N NH4OAC at pH 7.0, extraction and
satellite imagery (Table 3) and associate terrain flame photometery, as described by Jackson (1967).
characteristics such as slope, salinity and water Based on both laboratory interpretation and field
logging, the boundaries of each kind of degradation observations, a map showing kind and degree of soil
with their intensities were delineated. In per 100 km2 degradation map was prepared on 1:50,000 scale and
area, 15 to 20 sites were checked in the field. At each then reduced to 1:250,000 scale.

Table 3 Relationship between the kind and intensity of degradation process and the spectral characteristics on IRS
imagery

Degradation process Degree of degradation process


Slight Moderate Severe Very severe
Wind erosion (W) Pale brown with Pale brown with less Pale brown duny Pale brown duny
red tinge due to redish tinge (W2) with typical duny (W4)
rabi crop (W1) features (W3)
Water erosion (V) Medium brown Whitish grey patches Very light brown Not observed
with mottling indicates areas of and whitish stream
dark grey (V1) shallow soils with courses (V3)
few stream channels
(V2)
Salinity/alkalinity (S) Medium grey Medium grey and Light grey to whitish White tone (S4)
patches in the whitish patches in (S3)
scattered form the scattered form
(S1) (S2)
Water logging (WL) — — Light blue Dark Blue
(Kappor and Kavdia, 1994)
J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657 651

Results and discussion degradation due to salinity/alkalinity occupied


2.39%, water erosion 1.49% and wind and water
The kinds of soil degradation and its degree in erosion combined occupied 0.5% area of the district.
Hanumangarh district (9703 km2) is presented in Fig. Nearly 17.12% area of the district was free of hazard.
2. Due to high human and livestock pressure and The salient features of each degradation process
introduction of Indra Gandhi canal people were viz., wind erosion, waterlogging/salinization, water
forced to: (a) cultivate the marginal lands Dune ersion salinization/alkalization and combined effect
slopes and shallow soil, (b) use of poor quality of of wind and water erosion are discussed below:
water for irrigation, (c) indiscriminate cutting of trees
for food, fodder and fuel purposes and overgrazing Area degraded due to wind erosion (W)
of pasture lands. It is observed that degradation
problems are mainly due to wind erosion followed The southern part of Rawatsar, Nohar, Bhadra and
by waterlogging salinization, water erosion and wind Pilibanga tehsils mostly occupied by medium to high
and water erosion combinedly. Total area occupied sand dunes and very narrow, highly hummocky
by wind erosion/deposition process was 65.97% and interdune with coarse textured soils and abundance
by water-logging and salinization was 10.36 %. Soil of free lime in the form of well developed lime

Fig. 2 Land degradation map of Hanumangarh district.


652 J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657

concretions and gypsum accumulation at very common in the villages of Rawatsar, Pili banga,
considerably shallow depth. Soil degradation due to Nohar and Bhadra tehsil. On IRS images such type
wind erosion resulted in the formation of sand sheet, of area appears pale brown small strips with very less
hummocks and dunes as depositional and exposer reddish tinge due to rabi crops This type of
of plant roots and substrata as erosional features. degradation has affected 20.97 per cent of total area
Causative factors identified were (a) cultivation of of the district.
marginal land, (b) use of heavy machinery/
Severely degraded areas (W3), 2154.72 km2: Soils
tractorization, (c) deep ploughing through tractors,
of these areas is very deep, fine sandy, non-
(d) absence of trees in cultivated land and highly
calcareous to moderately calcareous and essentially
hummocky and duny landscape. Soils degraded due
of duny landscape. Because of frequent cultivation
to wind erosion/ deposition are varying from fine
on dune flanks and cutting of shrubs, the sandy soils
sand to sandy loam, calcareous, 1-2 ft sand
loosened and in the strong winds there is sand drift,
deposition at many places showing slight to
resulting in thick sand piles and dunes. The crest
moderate degradation. The southern part of the
and flanks of the dunes are devoid of vegetation.
district is occupied by the network of 3-7 m high
Such type of hazard occur in Jasana, Ratanpura,
dunes. Total area occupied in the district by wind
Nathwania, Toparia, Nohar and Sonari etc in Nohar
erosion/deposition hazards was 6400.93 km 2
tehsil. The southern part of Nohar and Bhadra tehsil
(65.97%). The characteristics of different intensities
mostly occupied by dunes of 3-7 m height. On IRS
of soil degradation due to wind erosion/deposition
images, such type of area appears pale brown, with
are discussed below.
typical duny features. The land affected by severe
Slightly degraded areas (W1), 1186.60 km2: Soils sand movement This type of degradation has
of this area are deep to very deep, pale brown to affected 22.21 per cent of total area of the district.
light yellowish brown and fine sand to loamy sand
Very severe degradation due to wind erosion/
and classified as Typic Torripssaments. During May
deposition (W4), 1023.97 km2: It occurs in the areas
and June, with strong winds, loose sand becomes
infested by high and unstabilised sand dunes of 40-
active on the surface. In most cultivated fields, thick
60 m height. Due to increasing biotic activities, the
sand is deposited along fence lines. Such areas
dunes have been reactivated resulting in the sand
occur in Rawatsar, Dhannasar, Hardaswali, Sonari,
sheeting and deposition of loose sand on the nearby
Naurangdeser etc. This type of degradation has
cultivated lands resulting in depletion of their
affected 12.23 percent of total area of the district. On
biological productivity. Large area has been observed
IRS images such type of area appears pale brown
in between Hanumangarh junction, Sangariya, Dabli
with red tinge due to rabi crops.
Rathan and Dholipal village of Sangeria and
Moderately degraded areas (W2), 2035.65 km2: Hanuman tehsils. At many places fresh barchan
Soils of moderately degraded areas are very deep, dunes were formed near Bashir, Sonri, Nanau, Thirana,
sand to loamy sand in surface horizon and loamy Pallu, Baramsar etc. Soils of these areas are pale
sand to sandy loam in subsoil, light yellowish brown brown to light yellowish brown (10YR6/3-6/4) fine
and pale brown. These soils have high intensity of sand classified as Typic Torripsamments. On satellite
hummocks associated with medium height dunes. imagery, this classappears as pale yellow with
The hummocky area is also under cultivation with typical dune pattern. This category of very severe
gram and pearl millets crop, which aggravates the degradation occupies 10.55 per cent of the total
problem of soil degradation. Such degradation, is area.
J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657 653

Area subjected to waterlogging and salinization Dasuwali etc. Soils of these areas are mostly loamy
(WL/S) sand to clay loam in texture.
This is the main soil degradation process caused by Waterlogged (WL), 436.57 km 2 (4.50%): This
(a) Large scale introduction of canal irrigation in un- category of degradation includes the areas where the
irrigated areas, without any provision of adequate depth of water table is less than 1m and occur with
drainage, (b) rising the ground water table, (c) runoff in 2 km from canal and just in the vicinity of stagnant
from the Ghaggar diversion canal in the inter-dunal water and dominantly have buried salinity
area, (d) presence of hardpan at shallow depth, (e) Waterlogged salt affected soils are medium to fine
absence of good drainage system, (f) over-irrigation textured, moderate to strongly calcareous underlain
and high evapo-transpiration. Waterlogged salt by semi permeable to ill-drained silt loam to silty clay
affected soils were medium to fine textured, moderate loam and occur on depressional relief and interdunal
to strongly calcareous underlain by semipermeable to plains in canal command area.
ill drained siltloam to silt clay loam and occur on
depressional relief and inter-dunal plains in canal Stagnant water (SW), 302.04 km2 (3.11%): This
command area. Total area occupied by waterlogging category of degradation includes the areas where the
and salinization in the district is 1005.59 km2 (10.36%). water is standing above the surface and occur near
The extent and salient features of the degree and the head in the villages Jhakhrawali, Baropal,
severity of the hazard is given below. The canal Manaktheri in pili banga tehsil, Lukhuwali,
command area has dominance of medium to fine Ranjitpura, Jorawarpura village of Hanumangarh
texture soils and associated by low height dune tehsil. Khet ki dhani and Baduwalia of Rawatsar
complex and sandy plain soils. However, high water tehsil. Luna ki dhani, Dabli khurd and Dabli kalan of
allowance, poor maintenance of canal net work, sandy Tibbi tehsil of Hanumangarh tehsil. In these areas
texture of soil, and subsurface barriers of clay and water is standing 15 cm to 2 meter above the surface
gypsum at varying depth are found which restricted of soil. Soils of this area vary from fine sand to loam.
vertical movement of water through them, resulting
in gradual rise in water table that created the problem Area due to salinization/alkalization (S/A)
of water logging and salinization in highly productive
High salinity and alkalinity in soil usually leads the
soils in the entire canal command area.
soil degradation. The problem of soil salinity/
Potentially sensitive areas 137.32 km (1.42%): This alkalinity has become more severe due to excess
category of degradation includes the areas where the irrigation and irrigation with saline or saline sodic
water table is less than 6 meter below the ground and water. Saline soils have also been created due to
occur 5-6 km away from the canal in the village viz seepage from canal. The total area affected by
Rawatsar, Naurangdeser, Khetawali, Jorawarpura, salinization/alkalization is 231.83 km2 (2.39%) of the
Baropal etc. Soils of these areas fine sand to clay loam, surveyed area. Areas under different degrees of
strongly calcareous, pale brown to brown in colour. salinity have been given below:
Critical areas (WLc), 129.65 km2 (1.34%): This Moderately degraded area (S2), 73.4 km2 (0.76%):
category of degradation includes the areas where the In these areas salinity is variable from site to site.
water table lies in between 1 and 1.5m of the ground Electrical conductivity values of soils varied between
surface and occur in the vicinity of waterlogged areas 7.85 to 8.74 dSm-1. Most of such lands have scanty
in the villages Rawatsar, Naurangdeser, Khetawali, vegetation cover of salt tolerant bushes and non-
Jorawarpura, Baropal, Chuwali, Chaya, Kanwani, palatable herbs. Dominantly the affected lands have
654 J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657

buried salinity but at places the soluble salts have Moderately degraded area due to combined effect
also accumulated at surface. On IRS images such of wind and water erosion: These are the areas
type of area appears dull white and bright white where hummocks formation due to wind and sheet
tones in chessboard pattern with some scattered and rill due to water erosion has observed
patches of reddish tone of non-saline fields. simultaneously. Such areas occur in Sangariya,
Nohar and Bhadra tehsil. On IRS images such areas,
Severely degraded area (S3), 93.63 km2 (0.96%):
appears as pale brown and whitish grey in tone. Total
In this class saline areas with high content of salts
area occupied by this hazard is48.49 km2 (0.5%) of
throughout the profile are included. Such areas occur
the total area.
in the vicinity of natural drainage, waterlogged areas
and in large inconspicuous depressions. The soils
Degradation due to Gypsum quary
of these areas are mostly clay loam having electrical
conductivity from 8.54 to 17.2 dSm-1 and pH values This type of degradation is not in mappable form and
vary from 8.2 to 9. On IRS images such type of area occur in the southern part of Rawatsar, Nohar,
appears dull white and bright white tones. Bhadra tehsils of Hanumangarh district around the
villages Rampur, Ramka, Nolakhi, Purabsar and
Very severe degradation (S4), 64.8 km2 (0.67%): In
Baramsar etc in Rawatsar tehsil, Nimla, Phephana
this category surface is devoid of vegetation and salt
crust present on the surface. The soils of these areas Borwali, Ratanpura sector in Nohar tehsil and
are mostly clay loam and occur in the villages Khara, Bhinani, Palri, Rambas, Bhawaldeser, Girijasar
Kulchander, Tibbi, Silwara, Dabli Kalan, Norangdeser Jabrasar, Musisar etc. villages in Bhadra. Gypsum is
and Lukhuwali etc. having electrical conductivity mostly present as hard nodules of gypsum crystals.
more than 16 dSm-1. On IRS images such type of area Soils are shallow having depth 20-60 cm and varies
appears bright white tones. from fine sand, loamy fine sand and sandy loam. The
underlying gypsic horizon consists of micro-
Degradation due to moderate water Erosion (V2) crystalline form, depth ranges from 60-150 cm. The
farmers were getting good crops from these sites
Water erosion in the study area is very rare due to under rainfed and irrigation besides presence of
limited runoff. In response of torrential rains, water gypsic horizon. Government of Rajasthan quarried
erosion mainly observed due to the absence of gypsum from these lands and the gap filled with
vegetation on the soil surface in gypsum bearing adjacent dune soils which resulted in change of
areas because the depth of soil also influences its texture from sandy loam and loamy sand to fine sand
ability to absorb and store rainfall. Overflow is more and available nutrient content lowered in comparison
likely generated on the shallow soil. Water erosion to the original soil. After gypsum quarry the physico-
occurs in the form of sheet and rill formation mostly chemical properties of soil affected, resulted in the
in the vicinity of villages on pasture lands and also loss of 70 -90% crop yield. Changes in morphological
near to the watering points where animals congregate and physico-chemical properties of soil before and
for drinking water. Trampling effect of animals lead after gypsum quarry is given in Table 4.
to compact soil and reduced infiltration that resulted
in increased runoff. These areas occur mostly in the Non degraded area
southern part of Bhadra and Nohar tehsil. On IRS
images in such areas, rills were recognized by These areas are free of any type of hazard viz. wind
whitish grey appearance. The total area affected by erosion, water erosion and salinization/alkalization.
water erosion is 144.7 km2 (1.49%) of the district area. The north-eastern part of Hanumangarh, Nohar and
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Table 4 Changes in morphological and physico-chemical properties of soil before and after gypsum quarry

Depth Soil Soil colour EC (dSm-1) pH(1:2) Organic K2 O P2O 5


(cm) texture Carbon (%) -1
(kg ha )
Original soil before gypsum quarry
0-20 fs-ls &sl 10YR7/2-10 YR6/3 0.10-0.32 7.9-8.4 0.12-0.20 180-420 8.0-12.30
20-150 - 10YR7/1-10 YR8/2 1.20-2.78 7.5-7.78 0.10-0.12 156-258 2.24-3.36
150-180 fs 10 YR6/3 0.34-0.69 7.95-8.2 0.06-0.09 129-168 3.92-6.40
Soil from the field where gypsum has quarried and gap filled with dune soil
0-30 fs 10YR7/2 2.54 7.6 0.04-0.08 80-190 2.24-3.36
30-60 fs 10YR7/2 2.54 7.82 0.03-0.08 90-258 2.24-4.80

Sangria tehsil because of better soil and landscape potassium than non-degraded soils. Available
position and irrigation by IGNP and Bhakra canal phosphorus in slightly degraded soils has 33%,
system more and more area is being brought under moderately and severely degraded soils contain 50
irrigated agriculture and resulting in the increase of and 66.6% less mean available phosphorus in
crop yield manifold. The soils of these areas is loamy comparison to non-degraded soils. The results are
sand to sandy loam and loam, strongly calcareous, in conformity with Gupta et al. (1981), who reported
pale brown to brown in colour. Non-degraded area cumulative nutrient removal from bare sandy plain
occupy in 1660.70 km2 (17.12 % ) of the study area. whereas the pasture sandy soils remained free of
erosion.
Impact of soil degradation on fertility status of
soils Effect of waterlogging and salinization on physico-
chemical properties of soil
An attempt was made to correlate the interpreted
satellite data with the soil physico-chemical The morphological characters and results of soil
characteristicsand the results are discussed below: analysis are given in the (Table 6). The results
Effect of wind erosion on fertility status of soils: The revealed that these waterlogged salt-affected soils
morphological characters and results of soil analysis are very deep, medium to fine textured, moderate to
are given in the (Table 5). The results revealed that strongly calcareous. The depth of standing water on
they are dominantly coarse textured, fine sand to ground was up to 90 cm. At the fringe areas of
loamy sand variable in colour, slight to strongly waterlogging, 2 cm thick salt peter layer is visible.
calcareous. The pH and EC of non-degraded soils is The EC of these affected soil range from 8.2 to 90
less than degraded soils. The mean organic carbon dSm -1 and pH varies from 7.8 to 9.02, mostly
is 31% less in slightly, 62.7% in moderately and 68% decreases with depth. The texture of these soil is
less in severely degraded soils than non-degraded variable, range from sand to sandy loam, loam, clay
soils.The mean available potassium is 36% less in loam and silty clay loam. Colour of these soils varies
slightly degraded soils. Moderately degraded soils from light gray to dark yellowish brown.
contain 63.47% and severely and very severely These soils are low in organic carbon (0.120-
degraded soils contain 72.6% less mean available 0.375%), low in available Phosphorus (2.24-21 kg
656 J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657

Table 5 Impact of wind erosion / deposition on physico-chemical properties of soil

Parameters Non-degraded soils Degraded soils


Slightly Moderately Severely
Texture lfs-cl fs-ls fs-ls ms-fs
Colour 10YR5/2-5/3 10YR6/3-5/3 10YR6/3-6/4 10YR6/3
Effervesence eo-es eo-es eo-es eo-e
pH 7.4-8.3 8.2-8.6 8.0-8.5 8.16-8.22
EC (dSm-1) 0.191-0.980 0.124-0.290 0.115-0.925 0.3-0.405
Organic Carbon (%) 0.16-0.35 0.12-0.29 0.09-0.14 0.05-0.11
(0.290) (0.20) (0.11) (0.09)
Available K2O (kg ha-1) 236.2-922.5 113-270 90-382 168.8-285
(438) (280) (160) (120)
Available P-2O5 (kg ha-1) 8.0-25.68 4-14 3-11 2-6.72
(18) (8) (6) (4)
Figures in parenthesis show the mean value

ha -1 ) but in the shora the content of available sustain growth, resulting in low biomass production.
phosphorus is very high ranged from 30-53.2 kg The impacts of waterlogging/salinization on physico-
ha-1. The content of available potassium is very high chemical properties of soils is given in Table 6.
ranged from 306-840 kg ha-1). This is apparent from Thus the influence of soil degradation processes
the results that waterlogging and salinization does such as wind erosion, water erosion and salinization
not have an adverse effect on the available on the fertility status of soil revealed loss of
potassium and phosphorus. Thus these soils Potassium, Phosphorus and organic carbon. Raina
contain adequate amount of nutrients but, perhaps (1992) has also reported loss of all the nutrients due
due to high salinity stress or lack of aeration, plants to soil degradation in the sandy soils of arid
are unable to utilize the available nutrients and Rajasthan.

Table 6 Effect of Water logging and Salinization on physico-chemical properties of soil

Stages of degradation Depth pH EC Organic Available


(cm) (1:2) (dSm-1) Carbon (%) P(kg ha-1) K(kg ha-1)

Standing water above the surface of soil 0-5 7.6 3.5 0.30 8 320
Waterlogged area, water table is <1 m 0-2 7.0 94 - - 580
2-30 8.0 7.8 0.24 11 563
30-60 8.2 1.3 0.20 9 371
Critical waterlogged area, water table 1.0-1.5 m 0-30 8.1 9.2 0.19 15 445
30-60 8.0 3.0 0.17 7 380
Potentially sensitive area water table below 1.5-6.0 m 0-30 7.98 1.1 0.20 5.8 390
30-60 8.0 0.682 0.18 4.2 280
J. Indian Soc. Remote Sens. (December 2009) 37:647–657 657

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