Modeling and mapping of soil salinity in Tafilalet plain (Morocco)

  • Mohammed El hafyaniEmail author
  • Ali Essahlaoui
  • Mohamed El baghdadi
  • Ana C. Teodoro
  • Meriame Mohajane
  • Abdellah El hmaidi
  • Abdelhadi El ouali
Original Paper


The Tafilalet plain in Morocco is a very rich ecosystem. It presents enormous ecological and natural values, such as groundwater and agricultural soil; however, it is undergoing rapid changes due to natural and anthropogenic factors, where soil salinity constitutes one of the major problems. In this context, remote sensing data/techniques used to map and to model soil salinity is a valuable tool in management activities and in decision-making. This paper focuses on modeling and mapping soil salinity in Tafilalet plain, Morocco, based on Landsat 8 OLI satellite data in combination with ground field data. Our results indicated that the coefficient of determination (R2) varies from 0.53 to 0.75 and the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) ranges between 0.62 and 0.80 dS/m. Based on the results, we can conclude that this approach is an effective and valid methodology for modeling and spatial mapping soil salinity in this area and this method could also be applied for other regions with similar characteristics.


Tafilalet plain Landsat 8 OLI Electrical conductivity Soil salinity 



The authors acknowledge the financial support of VLIR-UOS for the help of the equipment and missions at the KU Leuven, Belgium. Thanks are also due to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on this article, which allowed us to improve the scientific quality of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Laboratory of Geoengineering and environment, Research Group “Water Sciences and Environment Engineering”, Faculty of SciencesMoulay Ismail UniversityMeknèsMorocco
  2. 2.Laboratory of Geo-resources and Environment, Department of Geology, Faculty of Science and TechnologyMy Slimane UniversityBéni MellalMorocco
  3. 3.Earth Sciences Institute (ICT) and Department of Geosciences, Environment and Land Planning, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Research Group “Soil and Environnement Microbiology Unit”, Faculty of SciencesMoulay Ismail UniversityMeknèsMorocco

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