Evaluating different spectral indices in identification and preparation of soil salinity mapping of arid region of Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Loresan, Iran

2 RS & GIS Dept., Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Soil salinity undergoes significant spatial and temporal variations; therefore, salinity mapping is difficult, expensive, and time consuming. However, researchers have mainly focused on arid soils (bare) and less attention has been paid to halophyte plants and their role as salinity indicators. Accordingly, this paper aimed to investigate the relationship between soil properties, such as electrical conductivity of the saturation extract (ECe) and the spectral reflectance of vegetation species and bare soil, to offer a method for providing salinity map using remote sensing. Various vegetation species and bare soil reflectance were measured. Spectral Response Index (SRI) for bare soil and soil with vegetation was measured via the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and salinity indexes. The electrical conductivity of the saturated extract, texture, and organic matter of soil samples were determined. The correlation coefficient of soil salinity with SRI, SAVI, and salinity indexes were obtained, and a model was presented for soil salinity prediction. EC map was estimated using the proposed model. The correlation between SRI and EC was higher than other models (0.97). The results showed that the salinity map obtained from the model had the highest compliance (0.96) with field findings. In general, in this area and similar areas, the SRI index is an acceptable indicator of salinity and soil salinity mapping.