The threat of soil salinity: A European scale review

I.N. Daliakopoulos, I.K. Tsanis*, A. Koutroulis, N.N. Kourgialas, A.E. Varouchakis, G.P. Karatzas, C.J. Ritsema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

489 Citations (Scopus)


Soil salinisation is one of the major soil degradation threats occurring in Europe. The effects of salinisation can be observed in numerous vital ecological and non-ecological soil functions. Drivers of salinisation can be detected both in the natural and man-made environment, with climate and the foreseen climate change also playing an important role. This review outlines the state of the art concerning drivers and pressures, key indicators as well as monitoring, modeling and mapping methods for soil salinity. Furthermore, an overview of the effect of salinisation on soil functions and the respective mechanism is presented. Finally, the state of salinisation in Europe is presented according to the most recent literature and a synthesis of consistent datasets. We conclude that future research in the field of soil salinisation should be focused on among others carbon dynamics of saline soil, further exploration of remote sensing of soil properties and the harmonization and enrichment of soil salinity maps across Europe within a general context of a soil threat monitoring system to support policies and strategies for the protection of European soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-739
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Evaluation of soil salinisation
  • Mitigation of salinisation
  • Salinisation
  • Salinity models
  • Soil salinity
  • Soil salinity maps


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