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Land Capability Classification of Wadi Jerafi Basin, North Sinai Egypt

Emad A. Mahmoud , Ahmed S. A. Sayed and Abdalsamad A.A. Aldabaa

The Egyptian Government pays a great attention nowadays to encourage the agricultural investment in Sinai Peninsula. The current study focused on wadi Jerafi which is one of the most promising areas in North Sinai Governorate. The goal of this study is to evaluate the land capability classification of Wadi Jerafi basin using two universal software’s systems, namely as: MicroLEIS DSS (Cervatana Model) as semi-quantitative approach and Revised Storie Index as parametric approach. Accordingly, a grid soil survey was done through a total of 137 soil profiles. These soil profiles were investigated and sampled, then were chemically and physically analyzed.  Based on soil variation in depth, gravel content and soil texture, seven soil mapping units (SMU) were delineated and evaluated to assess their agricultural capability. Cervatana Model classified the studied area into two capability classes; good capability (S2l) covering the largest area (63.25 %) and marginal capability (S3l) covering the lowest area (36.75 %). The most limiting factors are soil depth, gravel content, soil texture and/or salinity. On the other hand, Revised Storie Index (using Storie method equation) divided the land capability of the studied area into two classes unsuitable (N) which covers of about 60.87 % of the total area and marginal suitable (S3) covering of about 39.13 % of the total area. Another method of capability index calculation called Square Root Method was applied and therefore it distinguished three capability classes; moderately suitable (S2) covering 8.87 % of the total area, marginal suitable (S3) covering 75.39 % of the total area and unsuitable (N) covering 15.74 % of the total area. Accordingly, this paper recommend to implement Revised Storie Index as a parametric approach to evaluate the rate of each soil parameter and to use Square Root method to calculate the capability index of each mapping unit.

Keywords: Wadi Jerafi, Sinai, Egypt, Land capability, Cervatana Model, Storie Index