Spatial distribution of soil morphology and physicochemical properties to assess land degradation under different NDVI and TRI in North Halmahera, Indonesia


  • Rofita Rofita Doctoral Program in Agricultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
  • Sri Nuryani Hidayah Utami Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
  • Azwar Maas Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
  • Makruf Nurudin Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia



land degradation, NDVI soil morphology, soil physicochemical, TRI


Land degradation is currently a major environmental problem that can lead to decreasing biomass productivity. The causes of land degradation have been widely reported. However, the soil morphological characteristics and its detailed properties related to land degradation need to be investigated further. The research was conducted in North Halmahera Regency in March-April 2020. The study started with an overlay of basic maps such as rainfall, land use, topography, and soil types to map the degraded land units. Several land units classified from slightly damaged to severely damaged will be validated based on field observations and supported by laboratory measurements. Characterization of soil morphology and soil sampling was carried out according to USDA international standards. Sentinel 2A image and SRTM image from March to April 2020 were used to determine NDVI and TRI. The characteristics of the soils that have not been degraded tend to be found in volcanic landscapes, while those of the degraded soils tend to be found in structural and karst hills. The thickness of the degraded soil horizons tends to be shallower with an incomplete horizon arrangement, and many rock fragments are found in the soil surface layer. SOC gradually decreases in degraded soils, while the essential nutrients (N, P, and K) are relatively more varied across soil types. The improper land use without conservation on steep slopes causes the soils to be easily degraded. The soil degradation index has a linear relationship with NDVI and TRI. Thus, the revitalization of degraded lands needs to pay attention to the layout and types of vegetation with different slope levels according to the geomorphological zone.


Aini, L.N., Soenarminto, B.H., Hanudin, E. and Sartohadi, J. 2019. Plant nutritional potency of recent volcanic materials from the southern flank of mt. Merapi, Indonesia. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science 25: 527-533.

Aini, L.N., Sunarminto, B.H., Hanudin, E. and Sartohadi, J. 2018. Soil morphogenesis diversity at the southern flank of Merapi Volcano, Indonesia five years post-eruption. Indian Journal of Agricultural Research 52: 472-480, doi:10.18805/ijare.a-325.

Aji, K., Maas, A. and Nurudin, M. 2020. Relationship between soil morphology and variability of upland degradation in Bogowonto Watershed, Central Java, Indonesia. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management 7(3): 2209-2219, doi: 10.15243/jdmlm. 2020.073.2209.

Banday, M., Bhardwaj, D.R. and Pala, N.A. 2019. Influence of forest type, altitude and NDVI on soil properties in forests of North Western Himalaya, India. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39(1): 50-55, doi:10.1016/j.chnaes.2018.06.001.

Chaplot, V., Giboire, G., Marchand, P. and Valentin, C. 2005. Dynamic modelling for linear erosion initiation and development under climate and land-use changes in northern Laos. Catena 63(2): 318-328, doi:10.1016/j.catena.2005.06.008.

Frouz, J., Prach, K., Pižl, V., HánÄ›l, L., Starý, J., Tajovský, K., Materna, J., Balík, V., KalÄík, J. and Řehounková, K. 2008. Interactions between soil development, vegetation and soil fauna during spontaneous succession in post mining sites. European Journal of Soil Biology 44(1): 109-121, doi:10.1016/j.ejsobi.2007.09.002.

Gebresamuel, G., Singh, B.R. and Dick, Ø. 2010. Land-use changes and their impacts on soil degradation and surface runoff of two catchments of Northern Ethiopia. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B: Soil and Plant Science 60: 211-226, doi: 10.1080/09064710902821741.

Han, J.C., Huang, Y., Zhang, H. and Wu, X. 2019. Characterization of elevation and land cover dependent trends of NDVI variations in the Hexi region, northwest China. Journal of Environmental Management 232: 1037-1048, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.11.069.

Higginbottom, T.P. and Symeonakis, E. 2014. Assessing land degradation and desertification using vegetation index data: Current frameworks and future directions. Remote Sensing 6(10): 9552-9575, doi:10.3390/rs6109552.

Jensen, J.L., Schjønning, P., Watts, C.W., Christensen, B.T., Obour, P.B., and Munkholm, L.J. 2020. Soil degradation and recovery - Changes in organic matter fractions and structural stability. Geoderma 364: 114181, doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114181.

Jie, C., Jing-zhang, C., Tan, M. and Zi-tong, G. 2002. Soil degradation: a global problem endangering sustainable development. Journal of Geographical Sciences 12(2): 243-252, doi:10.1007/bf02837480.

Khaled, H. and Fawy, H.A. 2011. Effect of different levels of humic acids on the nutrient content, plant growth, and soil properties under conditions of salinity. Soil and Water Research 6(1): 21-29, doi:10.17221/4/2010-swr.

Kooch, Y., Mehr, M.A. and Hosseini, S.M. 2020. The effect of forest degradation intensity on soil function indicators in northern Iran. Ecological Indicators 114: 106324, doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106324.

Koutný, L., Skoupil, J. and Veselý, D. 2014. Physical characteristics affecting the infiltration of high intensity rainfall into a soil profile. Soil and Water Research 9(3): 104-110, doi:10.17221/93/2013-swr.

Krenz, J., Greenwood, P. and Kuhn, N. J. 2019. Soil degradation mapping in drylands using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data. Soil Systems 3(2): 33, 1-19, doi:10.3390/soilsystems3020033.

Li, H., Yang, X. and Zhang, K. 2021. Understanding global land degradation processes interacted with complex biophysics and socioeconomics from the perspective of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (1982-2015). Global and Planetary Change 198(17): 103431, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2021.103431.

Li, Z., Lun, F., Liu, M., Xiao, X., Wang, C., Wang, L., Xu, Y., Qi, W. and Sun, D. 2021. Rapid diagnosis of agricultural soil health: A novel soil health index based on natural soil productivity and human management. Journal of Environmental Management 277: 111402, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111402.

Ma, L., Wang, Q. and Shen, S. 2020. Response of soil aggregate stability and distribution of organic carbon to alpine grassland degradation in Northwest Sichuan. Geoderma Regional 22: e00309, doi:10.1016/j.geodrs.2020.e00309.

Maraseni, T.N. and Pandey, S.S. 2014. Can vegetation types work as an indicator of soil organic carbon? An insight from native vegetations in Nepal. Ecological Indicators 46: 315-322, doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.06.038.

Mirchooli, F., Kiani-Harchegani, M., Darvishan, A.K., Falahatkar, S. and Sadeghi, S.H. 2020. Spatial distribution dependency of soil organic carbon content to important environmental variables. Ecological Indicators 116: 106473, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106473.

Mujiyo, Sumarno, Sudadi, and Murti, R. W. 2020. Assessment of soil degradation in Pitu District, Ngawi Regency. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management 7(2): 2049-2057, doi: 10.15243/jdmlm. 2020.072.2049.

Nascimento, C.M., de Sousa Mendes, W., Quiñonez Silvero, N.E., Poppiel, R. R., Sayão, V.M., Dotto, A.C., Valadares dos Santos, N., Accorsi Amorim, M.T. and Demattê, J.A.M. 2021. Soil degradation index developed by multitemporal remote sensing images, climate variables, terrain and soil atributes. Journal of Environmental Management 277: 111316, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111316.

Noviyanto, A., Purwanto, P., Minardi, S. and Supriyadi, S. 2017. The assessment of soil quality of various age of land reclamation after coal mining: a chronosequence study. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management 5(1): 1009-1018, doi:10.15243/jdmlm.2017.051.1009.

Noviyanto, A., Sartohadi, J. and Purwanto, B.H. 2020. The distribution of soil morphological characteristics for landslide-impacted Sumbing Volcano, Central Java - Indonesia. Geoenvironmental Disasters 7: 1-19.

Núñez-Delgado, A., Zhou, Y., Anastopoulos, I. and Shaaban, M. 2020. Editorial: New Research on Soil Degradation and Restoration. Journal of Environmental Management 269(3): 110851, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110851.

Rodríguez-Caballero, E., Cantón, Y., Chamizo, S., Afana, A. and Solé-Benet, A. 2012. Effects of biological soil crusts on surface roughness and implications for runoff and erosion. Geomorphology 145-146(1): 81-89, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.12.042.

Sartohadi, J., Pulungan, N.A.H.J., Nurudin, M. and Wahyudi, W. 2018. The ecological perspective of landslides at soils with high clay content in the middle Bogowonto watershed, Central Java, Indonesia. Applied and Environmental Soil Science 2018: 1-9, doi: 10.1155/2018/2648185.

Schoeneberger, P.J., Wysocki, D.A., Benham, E. C. and Soil Survey Staff. 2012. Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils. In Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Soil Survey Center, USDA. Lincoln, NE.

Sun, W., Shao, Q., Liu, J. and Zhai, J. 2014. Assessing the effects of land use and topography on soil erosion on the Loess Plateau in China. Catena 121: 151-163, doi:10.1016/j.catena.2014.05.009.

van Reeuwijk, L.P. 2002. Procedures for soil analysis. International Soil Reference and Information Centre. Den Haag: Netherlands.

Wang, Z., Lyu, L., Liu, W., Liang, H., Huang, J. and Zhang, Q.-B. 2021. Topographic patterns of forest decline as detected from tree rings and NDVI. Catena 198: 105011, doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2020.105011.

Wessels, K.J., Prince, S.D., Frost, P.E., and van Zyl, D. 2004. Assessing the effects of human-induced land degradation in the former homelands of northern South Africa with a 1 km AVHRR NDVI time-series. Remote Sensing of Environment 91: 47-67, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2004.02.005.

Widiatiningsih, A., Mujiyo, and Suntoro. 2018. Study of Soil Degradation Status at Jatipurno District, Keduang Sub-Watersheds, Wonogiri Regency, Central Java. Sains Tanah - Journal of Soil Science and Agroclimatology 15(1): 1-14, doi:10.15608/stjssa.v15i1.21616.

Xu, W., Gu, S., Zhao, X.Q., Xiao, J., Tang, Y., Fang, J., Zhang, J. and Jiang, S. 2011. High positive correlation between soil temperature and NDVI from 1982 to 2006 in alpine meadow of the Three-River Source Region on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 13(4): 528-535, doi:10.1016/j.jag.2011.02.001.

Yengoh, G.T., Dent, D., Olsson, L., Tengberg, A.E. and Tucker III, C.J. 2015. Use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to Assess Land Degradation at Multiple Scales. Springer: New York.

Zhang, Y., Guo, L., Chen, Y., Shi, T., Luo, M., Ju, Q. L., Zhang, H. and Wang, S. 2019. Prediction of soil organic carbon based on Landsat 8 monthly NDVI data for the Jianghan Plain in Hubei Province, China. Remote Sensing 11(14): 1683, doi: 10.3390/rs11141683.

Zhumanova, M., Mönnig, C., Hergarten, C., Darr, D. and Wrage-Mönnig, N. 2018. Assessment of vegetation degradation in mountainous pastures of the Western Tien-Shan, Kyrgyzstan, using eMODIS NDVI. Ecological Indicators 95: 527-543, doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.07.060.








How to Cite

Rofita, R., Utami, S. N. H., Maas, A., & Nurudin, M. (2021). Spatial distribution of soil morphology and physicochemical properties to assess land degradation under different NDVI and TRI in North Halmahera, Indonesia. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management, 9(1), 3137–3154.



Research Article