A 1974 agronomic report on salinity in Bardenas, Spain, plus some outreach brochures

Published: 21 November 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/c9cryjc53k.2
Juan Herrero,


Bardenas is the name of an area of semi-arid land extending over conterminous parts of the regions of Aragon and Navarre in the Ebro Valley, northern Spain. Nowadays, large areas of Bardenas are irrigated. In the 1950’s the Spanish Government installed peasant families in the newly irrigated lands, but salinity problems became apparent threatening the economy of the area. Two outreach publications (García-Menéndez, 1957; Puig, 1960) included here show the social concerns about salinity in Bardenas and its perception at that time. Years later, the engineer in charge of the biggest irrigation project in the Ebro Valley still emphasized the challenges posed by soil salinity (De los Ríos, 1966, 1986). Also, a seasoned Agricultural engineer stressed the feasibility of irrigating saline and gypseous lands (Jordana, 1989). In the same way, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture launched studies and field experiments on soil salinity managed through its IRYDA agency. We provide the link (https://dara.aragon.es/opac/app/results/ahpz?q=A/025621/0001&ob=re:1) to a report based on soil and water samples taken between April 1972 and March 1974. We have georeferenced the five plans of the report, which are included here as .tif files. We also present “Shapefiles Bardenas” folder with the three files for (i) the study area, (ii) the observations localization, and (iii) the soil profiles. Moreover, the file “Maps Bardenas Process.docx” explains how we elaborated the maps from the folded plans included in the report of IRYDA. To our knowledge, the report is one of the earlier ꟷif not the earliestꟷ dedicated to the saline soils of Bardenas using methods of soil description, analysis and classification that allow the easy comparison of the information gathered with other successive pedological and agricultural studies. Its data provide a basis for the evaluation of desalination techniques and other agricultural practices carried out in the fields of Bardenas whose irrigation began 60 years ago.



Agronomy Sustainability, Soil Salinity, Irrigated Farming


Gobierno de Aragón

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas