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Title: Semi-arid soils west of the White Nile : variability and use potential
Author: Mousa, A. S.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1983
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Pedological research in the Sudan is scanty and almost non-existent in the area west of the White Nile. This dissertation attempts to throw some light on the soils developing in this semi-arid region in terms of genetic and behavioural characteristics using air photographs, satellite imagery, field work, laboratory and computer assisted statistical analyses. The study considers, for the first time in the Sudan, soil relationships using multivariate analysis. 'Phyaiographic napping' at a reconnaissance level of survey is employed to delineate geographical facets that are pedologically uniform. Four map units were identified and broadly classified on the basis of the FAO Soil Map of the World Legend. Thirty profiles, randomly selected and distributed proportional to the unit sizes, were sampled at three depth intervals. Several field, physical, chemical and mineralogical properties were analyzed. Multivariate analysis (Principal Component Analysis) was applied separately for the laboratory and field data sets using a layer-by-layer approach to find intercorrelations between the variables. These data were utilized further to discover the magnitude of variability and correspondence between the units delineated and their respective soil profiles. The tests revealed clearly that it is feasible to map the area physiographically as indicated by the congruency between analyzed and remotely sensed data. Classifying soils on the basis of surface horizon properties matched closely with the prevailing morphodynamic phenomena. Field data results revealed more in this respect than the complex laboratory data. Differences between surface soils and subsoils have proved more realistic however, in giving the true magnitude of sand cover in the area, suggesting that desertification studies need a thorough consideration of the depth factor. The dissertation has further emphasized the problem of land use in this part of the Sahcl Zone by comparing the existing soils with standards used by the FAD and Soil Survey Administration, Sudan. Suitability classes with possible arable crops are suggested for both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. The classes are derived from entirely pedological information and are hence subject to minor alterations when socio-economic information becomes available.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available