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Reconnaissance Soil Survey for the State of Kuwait

In 1999, the government of Kuwait in collaboration with international consultant (AACM) completed a soil survey project at two levels: reconnaissance at scale 1:100,000 and a semi-detailed at scale 1:25,000. The survey followed the latest USDA-NRCS norms and standards for the fourth-order extensive soil survey, called as reconnaissance survey. Field mapping was completed by describing one point per 200 ha making a total of 8,400 observation points in the entire state, covering an area of 16,800 km 2 . To support fi eld mapping, 105 typical soil pro fi les representing different soil taxa were described, and 570 horizons were sampled and analyzed for their physical, chemical, engineering, and mineralogical characteristics. Eight diagnostic horizons and eight soil great groups (Haplocalcids, Petrocalcids, Haplogypsids, Calcigypsids, Petrogypsids, Aquisalids, Torriorthents, and Torripsamments) were mapped. Of 12 soil orders distributed worldwide, only two Aridisols and Entisols were mapped. Aridisols occupy 70.8% and Entisols 29.2% of the surveyed area. A total of 23 soil taxa at the family level of USDA soil taxonomy hierarchy were mapped and included as major and minor components of 71 soil map units. The survey results were interpreted for several uses and translated to a number of thematic maps such as sand and gravel sources and uses for shallow excavations, septic tanks, sewage lagoons, sanitary land fi lls (area and trench), seedling mortality, and herbaceous desert plants. The major outcome was the delineation of 207,309 ha area with highest potential for irrigated agriculture, this area was surveyed at the second-order (semi-detailed) level of USDA-NRCS standards, and suitability map for irrigated agriculture was prepared. The reconnaissance survey results are valuable source to base future land-use planning and will serve as a guide for decision makers and land-use planners. The reader is referred to (KISR, Soil survey for the State of Kuwait – vol II Reconnaissance survey. AACM International, Adelaide, 1999) for details of these interpretations.

Omar, S. A. S, Shahid, S. A
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
Developments in soil classification, land use planning and policy implications
Page Number: 

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