Land Degradation Risk Assessment of El Fayoum Depression, Egypt

Arabian Journal of GeosciencesArabian Journal of Geosciences, Published Online 13 February 2012

R. R. Ali and W. A. M. Abdel Kawy

“The main objective of this study is to assess the land degradation risk of cultivated land in El Fayoum depression. The physiographic map of the depression was produced by using remote sensing and land surveying data. The depression comprises lacustrine plain, alluvial–lacustrine plain, and alluvial plain representing 12.22%, 53.58%, and 34.20% of the total area, respectively. The soil, climate, and topographic characteristics of the depression were extracted from land surveying, laboratory analyses, digital elevation model, and available reports. A simple model was designed to employ these data for assessing the chemical and physical risk of land degradation using Arc-GIS 9.2 software. The obtained results indicate that severe risk to chemical and physical degradation affect 54.15% and 29.23% of the depression, respectively. The current status of soil salinity, sodicity, and water table indicate that most of lacustrine and alluvial–lacustrine soils are actually degraded by salinization, sodification, and waterlogging. The results of degradation risk and the actual hazard indicate that the human activities are not sufficient to overcome the degradation processes in the most of the depression (80. 22%). Moreover, a negative human impact affects 26.29% of the area mostly in the alluvial plain. Great efforts related to the land management are required to achieve the agriculture sustainability.”