A Digital Soil Mapping for Sustainable Agriculture and Optimal Soil Management of Sharqya Governorate, Egypt

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The purpose of this study is to produce a digital soil map and also, to develop a choropleth map that is able to provide a visual view of all potential areas within the study for optimal use of soil. The study area extends between longitudes 31º20`
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  Copyright © 2013, American-Eurasian Network for Scientific Information publisher   JOURNAL OF APPLIED SCIENCES RESEARCH   JOURNAL home page: http://www.aensiweb.com/jasr.html  2013 December; 9 (13):  pages 6596-6608. Published Online :15 January 2014 Research Article Corresponding Author:  Ahmed A. Afifi, National Research Centre, Soils and Water Use Dept., El-Bohousest., Dokki, Giza, Egypt E-mail: a.afifinrc@gmail.com   A Digital Soil Mapping for Sustainable Agriculture and Optimal Soil Management of Sharqya Governorate, Egypt Ahmed A. Afifi, Elsemary, M.A. and Wahab, M.A.  National Research Centre, Soils and Water Use Dept., El-Bohousest., Dokki, Giza, Egypt Received: 12 November 2013;  Revised: 14 December, 2013;  Accepted: 20 December 2013.   © 2013 AENSI PUBLISHER  All rights reserved   ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to produce a digital soil map and also, to develop a choropleth map that is able to provide a visual view of all potential areas within the study for optimal use of soil. The study area extends between longitudes 31º20` and 32º 15` E & latitudes 29º 54` and 31º 12` N. The preliminary landforms of the area were delineated by using remote sensing data. The area includes flood plain, fluvio-lacustrine and aeolian deposits as main landforms. A semi detailed survey was carried out in order to verify landform units and collecting soil samples. Various available information and database systems were employed (e.g. ArcGIS, ERDAS MAGINE and ENVI). The soil map of the study area was extracted from the soil map of Egypt produced by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in 1982, this map has been updated according to the latest edition of 2010. Then, the transformation of the soil map (produced in 1982) into a digital format was done, the study area is covered by two soil map sheets. Theses sheets were scanned and geometrically corrected using UTM projection and WGS-84 datum. Data of previous soil survey activities were the bases for the created GIS digital database. Soils survey maps (SCALE 1: 100,000), were prepared as GIS ready maps. Other thematic information layers were imported to the GIS model representing the networks of irrigation and drainage, roads, railways and utilities, each layer includes different categories. Urban settlements were updated using recent TM and ETM+ satellite images. An intensive field investigation was performed in the study region, with the purpose of representing the soil units and collecting ground control points and soil samples for laboratory analyses. The attribute data of the soils are effective depth, pH, salinity, acidity, organic matter, and Bulk density as indication to soil compaction and texture. These attributes which were linked with spatial data to develop the soil geo-database model were considered as important criteria to determine the soil sustainability and plant production. It could be pointed out that achieving such detailed digital land resources database for local administrations is a great step towards the implementation of sustainable development and management programs. It is characterized by its comprehensiveness, geographical accuracy and updatability, such data can be handled, enhanced and exchanged by different users and authorities. The most striking findings noticed was the urban encroachment on the account of most fertile soils; hence shrinkage in areas of high agricultural capabilities. On the other hand, urbanization doesn’t extend largely to low capable land. Keywords:  Digital soil mapping, Chloropelth, GIS, Remote Sensing, Sharqya, Egypt. INTRODUCTION The policy of Egypt is to fill the gap in food  production, through vertical expansion of the irrigated areas, and the horizontal expansion in new reclaimed lands. One of the biggest problems encountered in land use planning is to obtain accurate information on the agricultural land resources. The process, however, is time consuming, costly, also, it is difficult to manage with especial respect to the old analogue system producing a paper maps. The new methodology is to use a computer- based to establish a digital land resource database. With the aid of the computer it will be easy to update the land resource database. Recently, these tasks comprise two basic components: a geometric database and an attribute database. The geometric or spatial database comprises records of the location and extent of an object represented by a point, line or surface, and is handled by Geographic Information System (GIS) software. The attribute database is geographically referenced, describes the characteristics of the object, [5]. Soil is a dynamic environment with many intersecting processes, chemical, physical and  biological at play. Even soils ‘sealed’ over by concrete and bitumen are not completely dormant. The way soils respond to events and actions can vary considerably according to the properties of the soil as well as other related factors such as land-use, vegetation, topography and climate. Increasing population pressure, (human-induced) land degradation, pollution and climatic change are  putting more and more pressure on our natural resources. This threatens food security and sustainable agricultural and environmental development in both the developing world as the developed world. There is a growing demand for accurate, multi-resolution soil data to take decisive action in order to cope with the rising problems and to ensure sustainable land use in the future. However,  6597  Ahmed A. Afifi et al,  2013 /Journal Of Applied Sciences Research 9 (13), December, Pages: 6596-6608 soil data for present day applications, e.g. quantitative land evaluation tools, is often required at resolutions unusual for classical soil surveys [20]. Besides, many existing soil maps have a pedogenetic, qualitative character (FAO classification or Soil Taxonomy), which is not suitable for many of the current, more quantitative uses of soil data. An important reason for the lack of quantitative soil spatial data or soil data infrastructures in large parts of the world is that conventional soil survey methods are slow and expensive [11] and often impractical in vast or inaccessible areas. However, during the last decades a new trend evolved in soil science that deals with this problem. The explosive increase in computation power together with fast developments in data acquisition technology, geo statistics, analytical tools and GIS since the 1980s, have resulted in a gradual shift from conventional, qualitative survey techniques to reproducible, fast and cost-effective quantitative  predictive methods, referred to as ‘Digital Soil Mapping’ [11]. The study aimed at preparing a digital geographic information land resources database for agricultural use. Materials and Methods 1. Study Area: AlSharqyia Governorate incorporates an area of approximately 4575.86 km 2  bounded by longitudes 31º20` and 32º 15` E & latitudes 29º 54` and 31º 12`  N (Figure, 1). The area belongs to the late Pleistocene which is represented by the deposits of the Neonile which lowering its course at a rate of 1m/1000 years [15]. According to Egyptian Meteorological Authority [7], and the USDA Soil Taxonomy [18], the soil temperature regime of the studied area is defined as Thermic and soil moisture regime as Torric. Fig. 1: Location of the study area. 2.2. Materials: The soil maps of Egypt, ASRT, [1] are the main materials collected and converted to the digital format. The collected soil maps cover the arable land, the fringes between the alluvial Nile Delta and the Desert fringes. The collected maps consist of a number of 2 map sheets at scale of 1: 100,000 in analogue format, covering the whole of sharqyia region. Topographic maps at scale 1: 50,000 covering the whole course of studied area, produced  by the Egyptian General Survey Authority (EGSA), 2007 were converted to a digital format. A number of multi date Landsat satellite images 1984, 1992, and 2009, covering the whole area, were collected and processed to be included in the GIS land resources database and be used in thematic mapping processes for updating different thematic maps and detecting changes in land use/land cover. The Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) images of 30 pixel size resolution, in addition to driven Digital Elevation Module (DEM) for the study area and its surrounding were consulted to represent the area landscape ASRT, et al ., [1] and NCSA [12]. 2.3. Methodologies: 2.3.1. Coding the Soil Units: In order to input the soil maps in the geographic information database, it was necessary to codify the mapping units. These units were classified down to the level of sub - great group, according to soil survey staff. Coding the soil units ought to be  6598  Ahmed A. Afifi et al,  2013 /Journal Of Applied Sciences Research 9 (13), December, Pages: 6596-6608 indicative to the soil taxonomy, properties, as well as the landscape. 2.3.2. Satellite images processing: Pre-processing activities were performed, to reduce some undesired variations/noises and to enhance other desired features. It commonly comprises a series of sequential operations, including radiometric correction or normalization, image registration, geometric correction, masking and image enhancement (e.g., for clouds, water, irrelevant features). Geometric rectification of the imagery was applied using ERDAS IMAGIN. This  becomes especially important when scene to scene comparisons of individual pixels in applications such as change detection are being sought, ERDAS, [8]. Image enhancement techniques (e.g. contrast stretching, Gray-level threshold, Level slicing, and spatial stretch) were tested to improve the visual interpretability of the used images by increasing the apparent distinction between the features. 2.3.3. Building GIS database: The digitizing specification of maps was defined according to the available themes. A number of 2 thematic layers, in addition to the geographic grid layer, were defined to be included in the geographic database. Each theme was subdivided into sub-themes, which were coded for the purpose of GIS modeling. The different digital maps were corrected from different errors and edge-matched after the geo-referencing processes. Edge matching, as a spatial adjustment process that aligns features in adjacent map sheets, was performed according to Tomlin, 1990. This process was applied on the soil maps (scale 1: 100,000) and all derived thematic maps of scale 1: 50,000. The descriptive thematic data related to all layers were attached as additional attribute tables. The attribute table attachments were elaborated without affecting the spatial context of the map neither the previously stored attribute, nor the recent ones Bonham-Carter, [2]. 2.3.4. Spatial adjustments: It was noticed, after edge matching, that there is a kind of deviation (constant in many places in its direction and magnitude) between the produced maps and the well registered topographic ones as well as the satellite images of the study area. It was possible to attribute the deviation to two reasons; lack of coordinate system in some srcinal map sheets and the rubber-sheeting accompanied the edge-matching task, [3]. In order to overcome this problem another spatial adjustment (transformation) has been  performed. Well registered topographic maps and accurately geo referenced satellite images have been used to perform the transformation process. The transformation tools of ArcGIS systems were found to be very effective in performing the spatial adjustment of the soil maps [4] and [17]. 2.3.5. Compilation of laboratory analysis results: A number of 13 soil profiles, representing the different soil units of the studied regions were morphologically described according to FAO [9]. A number of 40 disturbed soil samples were collected for laboratory analysis, following the laboratory methods manual [19]. The results of these analyses have been compiled in the database and then incorporated into the attribute tables of the digital GIS soil maps, Nguyen, [13] and Pavasovic, [14]. Results and Discussions Physiography of Alshrqya Governorate: Field survey data, Landsat TM, Landsat ETM image (Figure, 1) and digital elevation model (DEM), (Figure, 2) were used to define the  physiographic units of Alshrqya Governorate. The obtained data (Fig. 3) presents the physiographic features of the Governorate; the obtained data show that the physiographic units in the studied area include, clay flats (CF1 & CF2), sand deposits (OS1 & OS2), dry and wet sabkha (DS & WS), over flow mantle (OM1 & OM2) over flow basins (OB1 & OB2), river terraces (T1 & T2) and turtle backs (TB).The water bodies (WB), swaps (S), fish ponds (FP) and the gypsiferrous flat (GF) dominating the north eastern part of the area. Updating the database of Alshrqya Governorate: The Alshrqya Governorate is one of the largest ones in Egypt, located in the eastern Nile Delta region, north of Cairo. It is administratively sub-divided into 12 administrative districts or Markaz (Table 1). Al – Husainiyyah is the largest district in the governorate, covering an area of 1523.02   km 2 , representing 35 % of the whole Governorate. Belbes district is the second in its area covering 454.63   km 2 , representing 10% of total coverage. It includes Al – Zakazik city, the Government capital town where most of administrations are located. The soil layer (figure, 4 and table, 2) demonstrates that only seven sub-great groups exhibit the whole governorate, where Vertic Torrifluvents  dominates the soil types, covering an area of 2324.54 km 2 , representing 53% of the soils. The Typic Torrifluvents  sub-great group covers limited patches within the alluvial landscape, exhibiting 43 km 2  representing 1% of the soils. The Typic Quartizipsamments  sub-great group, cover an area of 671.29 km 2  (15% of the soils) found at the eastern and southeastern parts of the governorate. The sub-great group Typic  6599  Ahmed A. Afifi et al,  2013 /Journal Of Applied Sciences Research 9 (13), December, Pages: 6596-6608 Torriorthents,  exists in limited patches having a total area of 215.86 km 2 , representing 5% of total soils area. The  Typic Calciorthids  sub-great group covers an area of 81.30   km 2 , represents 2% of the soils. The  Typic Torripsamments  sub-great group covers an area of 87.98   km 2 , represents 2% of the soils. The   Aquallic Salorthids   sub-great group covers an area of 307.17 km 2 , represents 7% of the soils. Fig. 2: Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Al-Sharqya Governorate. Fig. 3: Physiographic units of Sharkya Governorate.  6600  Ahmed A. Afifi et al,  2013 /Journal Of Applied Sciences Research 9 (13), December, Pages: 6596-6608 Table 1:  Areas and frequencies of different administrative districts within the Alshrqya Governorate. Markaz Area (km 2 ) Fadden Area % Markaz Al - Husainiyyah 1523.02 365524 35 Markaz Awlad Saqr 257.55 61813 6 Markaz Kafr Saqr 176.01 42243 4 Markaz Faqus 430.52 103325 10 Markaz Abu Kabir 189.97 45593 4 Markaz Derab Nijm 211.72 50812 5 Markaz Al - Ibrhimiyyah 72.03 17288 2 Markaz Hehya 129.32 31037 3 1Markaz Al - Zakazik 332.57 79817 8 Markaz Abu Hamad 289.24 69418 7 Markaz Minia Al - Kamh 295.39 70895 7 Markaz Belbes 454.63 109112 10 SUM 4361.99 1046878 100 Fig. 4: Soil layer of Al-Sharqya Governorate (2009). Table 2:  Areas and frequencies of soil sub-great groups in Al-Sharqya Governorate. Area % Fadden Area (km2) Taxonomic Unit 7 73720 307.17  Aquallic Salorthids 2 19512 81.30 Typic Calciorthids 15 161110 671.29 Typic Quartizipsamments 1 10319 43.00 Typic Torrifluvents 5 51806 215.86 Typic Torriorthents 2 21114 87.98 Typic Torripsamments 53 557890 2324.54 Vertic Torrifluvents 1 9057 37.74 Rock 14 141719 590.50 Urban areas 0 1298 5.41 Water 100 1047545 4364.77 SUM  Irrigation and drainage network: The main irrigation canal and drain categories are shown in the land resources database layout of the Governorate (figure, 5), total lengths of each category are presented in table (3). The irrigation canals of more than 25 m width exhibit a total length of 240.60 km, while those of 10-25 m width attain a total length of 735.46 km. The drainage canals of more than 25m widths have a total length of 285.96 km, while those having 10 to 25 m width attains 874.10 km length.
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