Soil mapping and classification: a case study in the Tigray Region, Ethiopia

Ahmed Harb Rabia, Rasha Ramzy Afifi, Aweke Mulualem Gelaw, Simone Bianchi, Hernán Figueredo, Tran Lan Huong, Amado Adalberto Lopez, Sabil Damiao Mandala, Erica Matta, Marta Ronchi, Hishe Woldegiorgis Solomon, Alfred Kouly Tine, Mohamed Saleh Youssef, Maria Gabriela Gutierrez, Muktar Mohammed Yusuf, Valeria Alessandro

Abstract


Soil map is one of the basic tools in any agricultural development planning and generating a digital one is even more effective and more productive for natural resources evaluation. Moreover, remote sensing and GIS have added to soil classification different concept and enforcement. The study aim was to produce digital soil maps for the study area following different classification systems (ST and WRB) and to define the spatial distribution and characteristics all the soil classes in the study area, which will be indispensable for future development planning. This work has been done as a part of the 29th Course Professional Master in IAO institution, Florence, Italy. The study area was Kilte Awulaelo district in Tigray region, Ethiopia, Which is characterized by different topographies and geomorphologies with different agro ecological conditions. Eleven main soil groups and sixty soil types were identified in the study area. The main soil groups are: Leptosols, Vertisols, Fluvisols, Stagnosols, Kastanozems, Phaeozems, Calcisols, Luvisols, Arenosols, Cambisols and Regosols.  Regosols and Cambisols are the dominant soils in the study area which is characteristic soils of rainfed agriculture and land affected by erosion. Using spatial distribution map of each soil group was very helpful to connect soil characteristics with soil forming factors. Lastly, GIS and remote sensing were very effective tools in this study and gave higher value for the final study results.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20131.81