Land Evaluation of Eastern Suez Canal, Egypt Using Remote Sensing and GIS

Document Type : Original Article




HE RAPID population growth in Egypt has accelerated desert reclamation to attain food security. The present work aimed at exploiting remote sensing and GIS for assessing land capability and crop suitability of soils located on the eastern side of Suez Canal, Egypt. The studied soils  occupy an area of 220.7 km2 (22070 ha) and locatebetween latitude 30° 29' 47" and 30° 42' 45" N and longitudes 32° 24' 1" and 32° 29' 37" E. The physiographic investigation reveals that the sand plain is the major landscape, which includes one landform, namely the sand sheet. It is subdivided into three units; low, moderate and high, covering areas of 105.6, 103.1 and 12.0 km2, respectively. The soils are classified as Typic Torripsamments, with sand being the dominant texture class. The land capability spatial model (LCSM) showed that the fair soils occupy an area of 208.7 km2, representing 94.6% of the total area, whilethe poor soils occupy an area of 12.0 km2 and represent 5.4% of the total area. It is clear that soil texture is the limiting factor for land capability.The Applied System for Land Evaluation (ASLE) computer program was used for assessing land suitability for 12 crops;alfalfa, peanut, sugar beet, wheat, onion, tomato, watermelon, citrus, date palm, fig, grape, and olives. The clay content is the limiting factor. The soils would be suitable (S2) and marginally suitable (S3) for the selected crops. The most recommended crops would be peanut, tomato, and date palm as the soils appeared suitable for their requirements.