Available information about soil, current land cover ... Available soil maps Soil maps were produced

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  • Available information about soil, current land cover / land use in Jordan

    Prepared by

    Eng. Majed Bsoul

    Eng. Safa Mazahreh


    Inception workshop on Regional Soil Partnership and MENA Soil Information System

    1-5 April 2012 Amman

  • Available soil maps  Soil maps were produced through a national

    project (National Soil Map and Land Use Project, NSMLUP) carried jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Royal Jordanian Geographic Centre and Huntings Technical Service (UK) during the period of 1989-1995.

  • All maps are available as hardcopy sheets (Atlases) while all profile and pits were saved in Jordan Soil and Climate Information System (JOSCIS), held by the MoA. In this database, profile description of

    sampled sites is available. Detailed physical and chemical analysis is available for some profiles and sites at levels 1, 2, and 3.

  • Soils of Jordan

  • Maps+Description Scale Digital Hard copy No. of sheets Surveyed areas


    Soil 18 regions with

    description each region contains

    many soil mapping units

    With description

    1:250000 available available 7 Jordan Soil level 1

    All related information about Soil,,Land cover and alnd Suitability for different land uses are available in the albums of MOA

    1:50000 1:50000 1:50000

    available Not Available Not available

    Available Available Available

    28 28 28

    Specific area are surveyed Covers 10% of Jordan total area

    Soil level2 Land cover Land suitability

    All related information about Soil,,Land cover and alnd Suitability for different land uses are available in the albums of MOA

    1:10000 1:10000 1:10000

    Not Available Not available Not available

    Available Available Available

    39 39 39

    Very limited areas are surveyed in Jordan

    Soil level 3 Land cover Land Suitability

  • Example: Region 15 represents Mafraq area with

    20 soil mapping units at scale 1:250000

  • Soil level 2 at Scale: 1:50000 in Mafreq land Region with Related

    Information 45.1 Area (km2) 700-780 , 0-16% Altitude &Slope

    150-190 Mean annual Rainfall(mm)

    Transion area. Moisture Regime Poor brush rangeland. Vegetation /Land use 4% A-horizon stones, 18%surface stone & boulders no rock out crop.

    Stones and Rock out Crop

    Undulating to rolling basalt plain with many boulders and stones, shallow colluvium over lithic contact to basalt.

    Geomorphology/ parent material

    5ii (Brush Range-low "

  • Soils at reconnaissance level : level 1 scale 1:250000

    Note: Soil map at level 1 is available in GIS based formats as well as hardcopy found in atlases of MOA.

  • Soil Map Unit ACSAD Legend Description Soil Association

    NAY13 RHY l 3-4 a-d Weakly dissected, undulating limestone plateau with local sandstone areas: wide convex interfluves, plateau remnants gravel fans, wadi channels and infilled basins: arid moisture and partially hyperthermic temperature regimes: altitude 600 to 1000m: relat

    25% (Lithic) Gypsiorthid

    12% Lithic Camborthid

    8% Lithic Torriorthent

    15% Typic Camborthid

    15% Cambic Gypsiorthid HEI14 RHH t 3-4 a-c Weakly dissected plateau on

    Muwaqqar Chalk and Marl with plateau remnants, undulating hills and caolesced alluvial fans: steep rocky crests and slopes to valleys: altitude 800 to 1100m: relative reliaf 25-50m.

    45% Typic Camborthid

    15% Typic Calciorthid

    15% Lithic Camborthid

    and Calciorthid

    5% Typic Torriorthent

    10% Rock DHU15 RHH xcc 3-4 a Wadi alluvium and depositional basins

    with alluvium derived largely from basalt, but with some admixture from limestone: xeric-aridic transitional moisture regime: altitude 600 to 750 m: relative relief < 10m.

    70% Xerochreptic Camborthid

    and Calciorthid 15%

    Xerertic Camborthid

    Example :Soil mapping units (level 1) with descriptive information

  • Soil mapping units, level 1 with description related to each unit. Field observations distributed in this mapping unit with related


  • Soils at semi detailed level : level 2 scale 1:50000

  • Example on soil mapping units at level 2 with descriptive information linked to each soil mapping unit in GIS


  • Soils at detailed level : level 3 scale 1:10000

    Soil maps at level 3 are not available digitally, otherwise they are found in Atlases of MoA.Each soil mapping unit is described with a code including: soil series, depth, stone/rock, and slope.

  • Land cover / land use maps:

    land cover/ land use maps are only covered at two scales with limited areas in Jordan: 1:50000 and 1:10000 as shown in below figures. These maps represent current land use. These maps are only available as hardcopies found in the atlases of MoA.

  • Level 2at scale 1:50000 Level 3 at scale 1:10000

  • Example on land cover land use map in FAA study area with related map legend below.

    Land Cover Unit Description Code

    Brush range, low (< 30% ) percentage ground cover


    Rainfed, low intensity (

  • Potential land use maps:

    • Based on climatic records and historical survey, a general map of potential land use was delineated by Taimeh (1989) at a very small scale to characterize the country into different regions of capability. Basically, the map followed similar pattern of rainfall and bioclimatic zones of the country figure .

  • Rainfall isohyets in Jordan

  • Potential land use maps • More detailed maps were prepared through the NSMLUP

    (MoA, 1995) where land suitability code was assigned for each soil mapping unit.

    • The whole approach was based on biophysical factors

    criteria of land quality including soil physical and chemical properties, rainfall and temperature and land capability.

    • Suitability rating was coded for different land utilization

    types (LUT) including: 1. rainfed arable, 2. rainfed trees, 3. irrigation, 4. forest and 5. rangeland with controlled grazing.

  • • More detailed studies and research (Makhmreh, 1996; Harahsheh et al., 1998; Mazahreh, 1998; Al-Rashdan,1999; Al-Shoubaki, 1999; Ziadat, 2000; Al-Bakri, 2005) were carried out for different parts of the country at detailed and semi- detailed levels.

    • Results from these studies indicated an obvious shift between

    existing and potential land use, the fact that emphasizes the urgent need for sustainable land use options and policy.

    Potential land use maps, continued

  • • Potential land suitability maps are only covered at two scales with limited areas in Jordan: 1:50000 and 1:10000.

    • These maps are only available as hardcopies found in the atlases of MoA.

    Potential land use maps, cont

  • Description of grouping Land use recommendation

    suitability group

    Good for drip irrigation: not suitable for rainfed arable (climate)

    Investigate possibilities for irrigation water supplies: prohibit rainfed cultivation


    Moderately good drip irrigation : Not suitable rainfed arable : Moderate range: Marginal forest

    - 7

    Marginal rainfed arable:not suitable rainfed treecrops (climate) / unsuitable for rainfed or irrigated crops:marginal range and forestry:

    Marginal rainfed arable investigate water harvesting


    Marginal rainfed arable:not suitable rainfed treecrops (climate) /not suitable for any rural landuse

    Marginal rainfed arable investigate water harvesting/ Non agricultural uses


    Example on potential land Suitability being converted and digitized from the hard copies available from atlases of MoA to a digital map for FAA study area with its related legend.


  • Surveyed field observations are distributed all over Jordan. Available pits and bores counted in the MoA is 41613.

  • Soil observations including pits and bores database:

    • Data that were readily available from the (JOSCIS) database are: Rainfall, soil depth, temperature, available water holding capacity, slope, altitude, surface stoniness, erosion type and class, surface cover type (stones, boulders, rockiness) and percentage, and drainage class.

    • In addition, some data about salinity, alkalinity, and Calcium Carbonate percentage were available from the National Soil Map and Land Use Project reports.

  • Additional available maps

  • Al-Eisawi (1985) has recognized thirteen vegetation types in Jordan. Recent work by Albert, et al. (2003) indicated up to 19 recognizable types. Some types are strictly confined to one of the bioclimatic regions.