Soil and LU / LC Monitoring
1.1 Regional and Sub-regional Soil Mapping
During the period from mid eighties to mid nineties, the second generation of remote sensing satellites viz., IRS satellites were launched with higher spatial and spectral resolutions which had enabled to map soils at 1:50000 scale to the level of association of soil series. The studies with IRS satellites -1A /1B LISS-II had set the trends of rapid development and wider acceptability of remote sensing application in soil resources study. In the flagship project titled “Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development (IMSD) Project” of Department of Space, the soil resources were mapped at 1:50000 scale for parts of various states in India like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana covering an area of approximately 83.3 mha . Post soil map preparation, the soils were evaluated for land capability classification, land irrigability assessment and suitability to major crops for land resources planning.
NRSA (1997a, 1997b) had carried out land irrigability assessment study in Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) Phase-II and Krishna-Pennar link canal command area in Andhra Pradesh in India using remotely sensed data from IRS-LISS-II / III sensors data at 1:50K scale. The soils of the command areas were mapped and assessed for their suitability to crops like jowar, chillies, maize, groundnut, cotton, pulses, paddy etc., by following the FAO approach. The land suitability for irrigation was also assessed
1.2 Semi-detailed Soil Mapping
From mid nineties onwards with the availability of 5.8 m (PAN Sensor) and 23.5 m spatial resolution data (LISS-III sensor) from IRS-1C/1D satellites, studies were carried out to prepare soil maps at 1:25,000 and 1:12,500 scales with PAN merged LISS-III data. For Agricultural Department, Govt. AP, soils were mapped at 1:12,500 scale for a part of Sangareddy and Kurnool districts, Andhra Pradesh; and for Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory (UT) under National Agricultural Technological Project (NATP). At this scale, the soils could be mapped at the level of soil series with association of soil phases.
The capability of LISS-IV + Cartosat-1 for preparing soil maps at 1:10K scale required for Village level management of soils was showcased under Village Resource Centre (VRC) project. Delineation of homogeneous management zones for macro nutrient management has been attempted in Khandadev, Lucknow dt, UP and Ibrahimpet, Nalgonda, AP villages using temporal PAN and LISS-IV data as one of the inputs.
2. Land Degradation
Information on land degradation is needed for soil conservation / reclamation programs, land use planning, for bringing additional areas into cultivation and also to improve productivity levels in degraded lands. To address this aspect, various projects were carried out to map and monitor land degradation processes on 1:250,000 to 1:10,000 scales.
3. Ongoing Projects
- National Carbon Project - Soil Carbon Dynamics
- National LU/LC Mapping using Multi Temporal AWiFS Data
4. Completed Projects
- Mapping Salt-affected soils of India on 1:250,000 scale
- Nation-wide mapping of Land degradation on 1:50000 scale
- National Carbon project
- Precision Agriculture in mono cropped Agricultural Systems
- Soil Mapping at Various Scale
5. Research Areas
- Soil moisture estimation in rainfed areas using SAR data
- Hyperspectral studies on soil mineralogy, crop residue and nutrient stress
- Assessment of land degradation due to various factors / sources like tanneries, mining, aquaculture, etc.
- Development of Pedotransfer functions
- Spatial modelling of soil erosion
- Evaluation of various sensors and inputs data for mapping soil resources through visual as well as digital techniques.