Application of Geospatial Technologies for Land Use Analysis and Soil Science Education

Hamdi Zurqani, Clemson University


This research is composed of three parts: 1) Adaptation of Soil Judging to Libya, 2) Predicting the classes and distribution of salt-affected soils in Northwest Libya, and 3) Geospatial analysis of land use change in the Savannah River Basin using Google Earth.

Soil judging (Evaluation) plays an important role in soil science education. Libya has six soil orders according to the U.S. Soil Taxonomy (Entisols, Aridisols, Alfisols, Inceptisols, Vertisols, and Mollisols) and the most common soil orders are Entisols and Aridisols. A Soil judging (Evaluation) scorecard was tested at two different universities in Libya: The University of Tripoli and University of Zawia. Eighty-two percent of Libyan users were not aware of Soil Judging prior to this study. After completing Soil Judging trials in various locations in Libya, ninety-five percent of those surveyed indicated that Soil Judging is useful to the natural science education. Libya is mostly a dry and arid country, where sodicity and salinity problems are often accelerated by the prevailing climatic condition and geographical setting of the area. A framework was identified for classifying and mapping salt-affected soils in northwest Libya using field measurements (ECe, soil pH, and SAR) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The majority of soils in this region of Libya are normal (slight degree of limitation). Twenty percent of the topsoil is saline-sodic (extreme degree of limitation). Land use change and the loss of wildlife habitats are serious issues facing the Southeastern United States. Across the Savannah River basin, the major change of land use was deforestation and reforestation during the entire study period with most of the changes located near lakes and water tributaries.