Assessing the spatial variability of soil surface colors in northern Jordan using satellite data from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2

Language
en
Document Type
Article
Issue Date
2019-05-10
Issue Year
2018
Authors
Sahwan, Wahib
Lucke, Bernhard
Kappas, Martin
Bäumler, Rupert
Editor
Abstract

In the semi-arid regions of northern Jordan, soil surface colors show gradual variation from west to east. The dominant soil color in the northwest is a dark reddish brown. Toward the east, lighter brown colors dominate, and colors change further to light yellow in the east. These changes coincide with a climatic gradient (mean annual precipitation). Earlier studies showed a close and possibly causal correlation of soil colors (redness), soil weathering intensity, and mean annual precipitation. However, these conclusions were based on a limited number of soil samples. Our study, in contrast, shows the regional variability of soil colors in the context of geomorphological conditions and the climatic gradient. Two thematic maps of soils surface colors depending on verified supervised classification of Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 data were created. Results show a remarkable similarity of Support Vector Machines (SVM) classification of Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 in the area, and confirm a strong correlation of red soil color distribution, mean annual precipitation, and geomorphological aspects (depressions leading to higher water availability and thus soil weathering intensity). Accordingly, this approach offers suitable tools for a quantitative investigation of soil color distribution under the consideration of climatic gradients and varying geomorphological conditions.

Journal Title
European Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume
51
Issue
1
Citation
European Journal of Remote Sensing 51.1 (2018): S. 850-862. <https://doi.org/10.1080/22797254.2018.1502624>
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