As an important area of reserve land resources, the Yellow River Delta is faced with the problem of soil salinization. Grasping the characteristics of soil salinity as well as its spatial variation patterns is an important foundation of prevention, control and utilization of saline soil. This study selected Kenli County of the Yellow River Delta, obtained soil salinity data through field survey and lab experiment, and used statistical, GIS interpolation and buffer analysis methods to analyze the characteristics of soil salinity and its spatial variation patterns. Our results showed that the general soil salinity in the study area was mainly moderate and there was a significant positive correlation between different soil layers of 0 - 15 cm, 15 - 30 cm and 30 - 45 cm and soil salinity increased with the increase of soil depth. The areas with high soil salinity in each soil layer mainly distributed in the east near the Bo Sea in the county, while the areas with lower soil salinity mainly distributed in the southwest, centre and the two sides of the Yellow River in the northeast. Soil salinity showed a trend of decrease with the increase in distance to the Bo Sea, while stretching from the Yellow River, it showed increase tendency with the increase in distance to the Yellow River. The order from high soil salinity to low of different vegetation types was naked land → suaeda glauca → tamarix → vervain → reed → couch grass → paddy → cotton → winter wheat → maize; the order for different geomorphic types was depression → slightly sloping ground → slow hillock → high flood land. This study preliminary delineated the characteristics of soil salinity as well as its spatial variation patterns in the study area, and provided scientific basis for soil resource sustainable utilization in the Yellow River Delta.
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