Application of kriging techniques for assessing the salinity of irrigated soils: the case of El Ghrous perimeter, Biskra, Algeria

Mohamed Amine Abdennour, Abdelkader Douaoui, Abdelhamid Bradai, Amel Bennacer, Manuel Pulido Fernández


In semi-arid and arid areas, soil salinity has adverse effects both on the environment and agricultural production. The main causes of this salinization come from natural or anthropogenic processes, which is certainly an environmental problem that affects more than 20% of the world's land. This study was made in order to map the spatial distribution of soil salinity of the irrigated perimeter of El Ghrous in southeastern Algeria. These maps were performed based on data collected from 190 soil samples from 0 to 15 cm deep. We used ordinary kriging (OK) to analyze the spatial variability of soil salinity, while indicator kriging (IK) was used to analyze salinity versus threshold values. The salinity map predicted by the electrical conductivity (EC) values using the ordinary kriging (OK) method showed the different classes of salinity according to Durand's classification with moderately saline 3rd order dominance, while the unsalted soil (EC < 0.6 dS m-1) represents a very low percentage (1.5%). The indicator kriging (IK) was carried out by four thresholds which correspond to the salinity class limits: EC > 0.6, EC > 1, EC > 2, EC > 3, and EC > 4 dS m-1, for developing probability maps to determine risk areas. This study has shown the spatial trend of soil salinity by geolocation of different classes, and to carry out risk maps using geostatistical techniques.

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