SOIL Studies

SOIL Studies

2023, Vol 12, Num, 1     (Pages: 015-029)

Agricultural land suitability assessment with GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis and geostatistical approach in semi-arid regions

Murat Güven Tuğaç 1 ,Abdullah Erhan Tercan 2 ,Harun Torunlar 1 ,Erol Karakurt 3 ,Mustafa Usul 4

1 Soil Fertilizer and Water Resources Central Research Institute, GIS and Remote Sensing Centre, 06172 Ankara, Türkiye
2 Department of Mining Engineering, Hacettepe University, 06900 Ankara, Türkiye
3 Field Crops Central Research Institute, 06170 Ankara, Türkiye
4 Department of Soil Conservation and Land Evaluation, General Directorate of Agricultural Reform, 06800 Ankara, Türkiye

DOI: 10.21657/soilst.1328637
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For sustainable land use planning, evaluating land characteristics and making suitable land use decisions is a priority and critical step. In order to make these evaluations safely, spatial analyzes of many criteria should be made. In this study, the suitability of the land for wheat production was evaluated by Geographical Information Systems (GIS) based Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) in semi-arid conditions. In obtaining the land suitability map; fuzzy set model, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and GIS are integrated. Ecological criteria weights for agricultural land suitability were determined by AHP. In the suitability analysis, a total of criteria including soil and topographic features were evaluated. Geostatistical analysis approach was applied to determine the spatial variability of soil properties (sand, clay, silt, pH, OM, CEC, ESP, CaCO3, EC). The lowest variation among soil properties was observed in pH (3.8%), while the largest variation was observed in ESP content (107.5%). The nugget/sill ratio is poor for EC and pH, while other soil properties are moderately spatially dependent. According to the results of the analysis, 25.7% (3.226 km2) of the area is highly suitable, while 27.6% (3.457 km2) is moderately suitable and 19.5% (2.440 km2) is marginally suitable for wheat cultivation. In addition, 27.2% (3.415 km2) of the area is not suitable for agricultural production. The use of geostatistical modeling, MCDA and GIS together is very beneficial in making agricultural land management decisions.


Keywords : Land suitability Multi-criteria decision GIS Geostatistics Fuzzy model AHP