Soil degradation monitoring by remote sensing: examples with three degradation processes
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Naftaly Goldshleger; Eyal Ben-Dor; R. Lugassi; G. Eshel
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • croplands
  • distribution
  • drainage
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • erosion
  • fertility
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • Israel
  • land management
  • Middle East
  • mineral soils
  • precipitation
  • remote sensing
  • runoff
  • salinity
  • soil erosion
  • soil management
  • soil nutrients
  • soil organic matter
  • soils
  • water
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 8, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 48966
Tall Timbers Record Number: 25222
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in File
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Recent developments in the monitoring of soil degradation processes have used passive remote sensing (diffuse reflectance spectroscopy) and active remote-sensing tools such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and frequency domain electromagnetic induction (FDEM). We have limited our review to three important degradation processes: structural crust, salinity, and soil mineral deformation and alterations caused by fire. These degradation processes, leading to declines in soil fertility and productivity, are commonly viewed in terms of their spatial and temporal distribution and variability, making spatial monitoring tools such as remote sensing the preferred choice. Recent work has shown that a hyperspectral (narrow-bands) approach combined with active remote sensing (FDEM and GPR) can be used to provide detailed, three-dimensional maps of soil salinity status in croplands. Such a map could improve our understanding of salinization mechanisms and salt sources, leading to improved drainage. System planning and management. Another pronounced hazard is structural crust formation following rainstorm events, which decreases soil infiltration, accelerates water runoff, and increases the potential for soil erosion. The spatial distribution of soil infiltration can be assessed using spectral information. Finally, recent studies have shown the potential of hyperspectral spectroscopy to assess and monitor mineralogical, chemical, and physical changes, some irreversible, in post-fire soils. The irreversible changes may serve as a footprint of fire intensity but may also affect the burned ecosystem's recovery. This review should serve as a precursor for future innovative studies of soil degradation processes as well as to open up a new frontier for soil preservation using hyperspectral technology. © Soil Science Society of America, 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison WI 53711 USA.

Goldshleger, N., E. Ben-Dor, R. Lugassi, and G. Eshel. 2010. Soil degradation monitoring by remote sensing: examples with three degradation processes. Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 74, no. 5, p. 1433-1445. 10.2136/sssaj2009.0351.