Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Desertification and Salinization of the Mesopotamian Plain: A Critical Review

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  • Abstract


    Most of the Mesopotamian Plain is covered by Quaternary sediments among which the flood plain sediments of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are the most dominant parts. Aeolian sediments; however, also cover considerable areas at different parts of the plain in forms of sand dunes, sand sheets and Nebkhas. The dunes are the most common form and they are creeping as well as sand sheets in vast areas causing desertification. The main reasons causing this is climate change, abandoning of agricultural areas. Salinization is another significant problem in the plain whereby the affected areas are growing in size and the concentration of the salt in the soil, as well as the groundwater is increasing rapidly. The increase in salinization is due to miss- management of water resources, and the increasing salinity of the surface and ground water which due to the use of irrigation water supplied from Al-Tharthar Depression (lake) and the Main Outfall Drain.


    Keywords: Desertification, Sand dunes, Groundwater, Salinization, Solonization.