Soil Salinity Prediction Using Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems under Semi-Arid Environments Irrigated with Salty Non-Conventional Water Resources

Francisco Pedrero Salcedo*, Pedro Pérez Cutillas, Faissal Aziz, Marina Llobet Escabias, Harm Boesveld, Harm Bartholomeus, Anas Tallou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of climate change on food security have been unfavorable, particularly in the area of Murcia where there is a water shortage. To satisfy crop needs, farmers combine several irrigation water sources, such as brackish groundwater, desalinated water, reclaimed water, and desalinated water. Good agricultural and irrigation practices are essential for preventing soil salinization and production losses, and remote sensing might be used to evaluate these practices. This research, performed in an experimental field under greenhouse conditions and in an open-air commercial lettuce field irrigated with non-conventional water sources, determined that the Salinity Index (SI) applied to bare soil is a useful spectral index, providing an R2 range of 0.40 to 0.83. The other metric used to the bare soil, the Normalized Difference Salinity Index (NDSI), exhibited poor correlations, with R2 values as high as 0.49. Moreover, the thermal camera did not operate well within the greenhouse, but it performed in the commercial plot, where the canopy temperature was linearly correlated, with an R2 value of 0.50. The second analyzed vegetative metric, the Normalized Difference Plants Index (NDVI), was exclusively applied to the vegetation and showed minimal relationships with the soil salinity. In the visual evaluation of the maps, the temperature patterns of the canopy were strikingly comparable to the electrical conductivity of the soil, which was not the case for the other analyzed indices. The use of non-conventional moderately saline irrigation water sources negatively impacts the lettuce development by decreasing the fresh head weight and increasing the sodium and chloride leaf concentrations. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number2022
JournalAgronomy
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2022

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