|dc.description.abstract||The agricultural economy of Syria depends to a considerable
extent on the use of the land along the river Euphrates.
This land is fairly flat and should, therefore, be easy to
cultivate, furthermore, since the river drains the better watered
catchment outside the area, the problem of irrigation should not be
insuperable. This should be all the more effective following the
construction of the Euphrates dam.
The increasing population makes it necessary to extend all the
agriculturally usable areas, but above all else it is imperative to
help the local and nomadic peoples to settle, sad to provide an
opportunity for development within the study area, uhich lies in the
middle reaches of the Syrian Euphrates.
The thesis will deal mainly with the nature and characteristics
of the saline, and particularly the gypaiferous soils which are
associated with any such development. An account will be given of
the field survey undertaken during the period 196l»197ii. Other
aspects to be considered are the relationship between soils and plant
life, the influence of landscape on soil dynamics, and the reclamation
of land for agricultural development.
Any possible development within the study area faces major
problems, one of which i3 the excessive salinity or, more specifically
the gypsiferous nature of the soils, which affects plant growth and
consequently limits human activity.
To contribute towards a solution of the area's problems, work
Was started in 1161 on the measurement and collection of information on
the presence and nature of salinity, together with relevant data
concerning climate, hydrology, vegetation cover and other
soil properties. It was also necessary to review literature concerned
with the control of analogous problems in other arid areas.
Part One illustrates the point that the saline soils occupy a
large part of the country. The study area is situated mainly within
this saline region, and the factors affecting the formation of the
soil are discussed. The distribution of important soil properties
occupies a major proportion of this part, over several related subsections .
Part Two gives details of the vegetation cover and the general
nature of the soil groups, the distribution of soil properties and
soil profile descriptions. The classification of the soils is based
on U.S.D.A. w7th Approximation11 and FAO-Unesco schemes.
These two parts lead into the third, which deals with the
gypsiferous and other saline soils in detail. From an agricultural
and engineering point of view, the most important and most dangerous
problems affecting the area concern these soils.
Finally, Part Four, discusses the soil productivity, the
irrigation network, and the field experiments on leaching. In
addition, land reclamation is discussed, and recommendations are
made for land use and the development of agriculture and settlement
far local and nomadic people.||en