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Using magnetic susceptibility to assess soil degradation in the Eastern Rif, Morocco

AutorSadiki, Abdelhamid; Faleh, Ali; Navas Izquierdo, Ana ; Bouhlassa, Saidati
Palabras clavemagnetic susceptibility
soil degradation
semiarid soils
agricultural land use
Fecha de publicacióndic-2009
EditorJohn Wiley & Sons
CitaciónEarth Surface Processes and Landforms 34 (15): 2057-2069 (2009)
ResumenThe soil in the Rif, Morocco, is at serious risk because increasing anthropogenic pressures are gradually transforming large natural areas into farmland. The distribution of magnetic minerals within the soil profile can be used to assess soil development and degradation. The soils in the study area are severely eroded because of a combination of highly erodible soils, intense rainstorms and scarce vegetation cover. To sample of representative soil profiles, lithology, slope gradient and land use were considered. The ranges of magnetic susceptibility in the soil profiles distinguished between two primary soil groups. Magnetic susceptibility varied in the soil profile and along the soil toposequence, and the variations were related to the differences in the original magnetic composition and the influence of main erosion factors. Lithology is the main factor contributing to the variation in magnetic susceptibility. The magnetic susceptibility values in soils on Tertiary marls ( = 13·5 × 10-8 m3 kg-1) differed significantly from those on Quaternary terraces ( = 122·1 × 10-8 m3 kg-1). Slope affected the distribution of magnetic susceptibility because of the continuous loss of topsoil in some parts of the slope and the deposition of eroded soil in others. Elimination of the natural vegetation cover and a shift to cultivated land for cereals has had a negative impact on soil development and, on similar slopes and substrates, magnetic susceptibility decreased significantly in cultivated soils. The soils on steep slopes that had natural vegetation cover retained the magnetic minerals better than did those on gentler slopes that were under cultivation. Grazing, clearing and, especially, tilling has weakened the soil and made it much more vulnerable to erosion. An analysis of the main factors causing erosion will help to promote rational use of the land and to establish conservation strategies in such fragile agroecosystems.
Descripción25 pag., 4 Tabl., 7 Fig. The definitive version is available at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/2388/home
Versión del editorhttp://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/122652844/PDFSTART
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