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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 #328116

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

Location: Contaminant Fate and Transport Research

Title: Moving forward on remote sensing of soil salinity at regional scale

Author
item Scudiero, Elia - University Of California
item Corwin, Dennis
item Anderson, Raymond - Ray
item Skaggs, Todd

Submitted to: Frontiers in Environmental Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2016
Publication Date: 9/23/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5509859
Citation: Scudiero, E., Corwin, D.L., Anderson, R.G., Skaggs, T.H. 2016. Moving forward on remote sensing of soil salinity at regional scale. Frontiers in Environmental Science. 4:65. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2016.00065.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2016.00065

Interpretive Summary: Soil salinity is a major threat to crop production and sustainable soil use. Globally, about 20% of the approx. 300 million ha of irrigated farmland is estimated to be affected by salinity, with more than half of all salt-affected irrigated agricultural lands being found in four countries (China, India, Pakistan, and United States). 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 communication, we call for increased research efforts for mapping root zone soil salinity through satellite remote sensing. General recommendations are given for remote sensing data selection, ground-truthing, mapping, and monitoring. The research and mapping will be valuable to stakeholder groups and regulatory agencies currently attempting to develop and implement regional salinity management plans for irrigated agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Soil salinity undermines global agriculture by reducing crop yield and soil quality. Irrigation management can help control salinity levels within the root-zone. To best allocate water resources, accurate regional-scale inventories are needed. Two remote sensing approaches are currently used to monitor and map soil salinity: analysis of surface soil reflectance and analysis of crop canopy reflectance. In this communication, we call for increased research efforts for the latter approach, primarily because it allows mapping root-zone soil salinity. General recommendations are given for remote sensing data selection, ground-truthing, mapping, and monitoring.