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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » U.S. Salinity Laboratory » Contaminant Fate and Transport Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327878

Research Project: Effects of Agricultural Water Management and Land Use Practices on Regional Water Quality

Location: Contaminant Fate and Transport Research

Title: Remote sensing is a viable tool for mapping soil salinity in agricultural lands

Author
item Scudiero, Elia - University Of California
item Corwin, Dennis
item Anderson, Raymond - Ray
item Yemoto, Kevin
item Clary, Wesley
item Wang, Zhi - California State University
item Skaggs, Todd

Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2016
Publication Date: 4/7/2017
Citation: Scudiero, E., Corwin, D.L., Anderson, R.G., Yemoto, K.K., Clary, W.A., Wang, Z., Skaggs, T.H. 2017. Remote sensing is a viable tool for mapping soil salinity in agricultural lands. California Agriculture. 1-8. doi: 10.3733/ca.2017a0009.

Interpretive Summary: Soil salinity negatively impacts the productivity and profitability of farmland in western San Joaquin Valley, CA, one of the most economically important agricultural regions in the nation. Drought, climate change, reduced water allocations, and land use changes are among many current phenomena that could potentially worsen salinity conditions in agricultural lands. Monitoring soil salinity at regional and state levels is essential for identifying and understating drivers and trends in agricultural soil salinity, and for developing mitigation strategies and management plans. In this work, a new map of soil salinity, based on remote sensing, was developed for farmland in western San Joaquin Valley. The new map suggests that between 1992 and 2013, salt-affected soils in WSJV increased by 5.4%. This research and map can be a valuable asset to stakeholder groups and regulatory agencies currently attempting to develop and implement regional salinity management plans for irrigated agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Soil salinity negatively impacts the productivity and profitability of western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV) farmland. Drought, climate change, reduced water allocations, and land use changes are among many current phenomena that could potentially worsen salinity conditions in agricultural lands. Monitoring soil salinity at regional and state levels is essential for identifying and understating drivers and trends in agricultural soil salinity, and for developing mitigation strategies and management plans. A new map of root-zone (0-4 feet) soil salinity, based on remote sensing modeling, is presented for farmland in the WSJV. The accuracy of the remote sensing model and map is discussed thoroughly. When compared to data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Survey Geographic database (SSURGO), the remote sensing map indicates that between 1992 and 2013, salt-affected soils in WSJV increased by 5.4%.