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LAND DEGRADATION Definition: the decline in condition or quality of the land as a consequence of misuse or overuse, involving changes to soil,

flora, fauna, water quality and quantity, visual quality and production levels by humans. Land is considered "degraded" when its productivity is diminished. Land degradation caused by agriculture takes many forms and has many causes. Some of the most important types of land degradation include: 1. 2. 3. 4. Degradation related to overgrazing by livestock Degradation related to soil erosion , Degradation attributable to soil salinization Degradation attributable to waterlogging WATERLOGGING Another problem associated with excessive irrigation on poorly drained soils is water logging. This occurs (as is common for salinization) in poorly drained soils where water can't penetrate deeply. For example, there may be an impermeable clay layer below the soil. It also occurs on areas that are poorly drained topographically. What happens is that the irrigation water (and/or seepage from canals) eventually raises the water table in the ground -- the upper level of the groundwater -- from beneath? Growers don't generally realize that waterlogging is happening until it is too late. Worldwide, about 10% of all irrigated land suffers from water logging. As a result, productivity has fallen about 20% in this area of cropland. Surface waterlogging is the accumulation of surface runoff and thereby stagnation of water over depressed lands due to blockage of natural drainage and/or higher water table. The major causes of surface waterlogging and drainage congestion are the accumulation of rain and floodwaters in low lands coupled with lack of natural surface drainage and impeded sub-surface drainage. Further, superfluous irrigation supplies, defects in canal planning, obstruction in natural drainage, lack of proper land development etc will aggravate the problem. Several studies have demonstrated the usefulness of RS technique in mapping and monitoring of waterlogged and drainage congested areas. McFeeters (1996) developed the Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI) for delineation of the spatial extent of open water and enhance its detection in remotely sensed digital image. This index is calculated as follows:
NDWI = (Green NIR) / (Green + NIR)

Water features will have positive values while other terrestrial features will have zero or negative values that can be easily removed by any image processing software. This effectively eliminates the terrestrial vegetation and soil information, thus retaining the open water information for further analysis. - McFeeters,S.K. (1996). The use of Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) in the delineation of open water features. Int. J. of Remote Sensing, 17(7):1425-1432