History of soil salinity and agricultural land use in the Blood Tribe irrigation project area
Project Description

The study, undertaken for the PFRA, was commissioned to assess trends in saline areas over time and to map changes in land use. Trends in mapped land use, precipitation, and mapped salinity were then compared. The study was carried out by mapping and studying air photos from several different time periods from 1938 to 1992 and satellite imagery from 1984 and 1988.

Air photos were viewed stereoscopically and saline areas were mapped on top of them. Areas of salinity were calculated and plotted through time. These areas were compared to long term  precipitation data and mapped land use through time where trends between land use, climate, and soil salinity emerged. Landsat data from the 1980’s was also compared key parameters to  mapping salinity from multispectral satellite data include image resolution, wave-band combination, and imagery acquisition dates.

The results from this study point towards the need for the collection of long-term salinity data to support short term salinity changes. A follow up study to the first study examined salinity in the 1950’s and 1980’s. This additional study confirmed high levels of salinity and helped confirm trends in salinity with trends in land use and climate.

Terrain mapping and site assessment

Project Details

JD Mollard and Associates

JD Mollard and Associates