Gujarat with an area of 1,96,024 sq.kms occupies the 7th rank in India. If the soil of Gujarat is studied from the geological point of view one finds that there are two main areas in Gujarat: the western boundary of Saurashtra peninsula and alluvial plains of North Gujarat. If these two areas are excluded then we find that Gujarat is made up of hills of volcanoes. There is a large area of alluvial fertile land in the state, the reason for it being rivers having roots in other states flowing into Gujarat bringing in a lot of alluvium. This is very benificial for the agricultural sector in the state.
Problem of Saline Land
The problem of Saline land is not only found in Central Gujarat and the coastal areas of Kachchh but also in other areas. The main reason for spread of salts in the land is that as most of the rivers of Saurashtra and North Gujarat areas are not perennial rivers, water is not recharged. Moreover, as more quantity of underground salt is absorbed, according to one estimate, salty water of sea has spread to about 1,65,000 hectares. As a result about 13 lakh farmers are adversely affected. Due to spread of salts in the land, more than 800 villages of the state are affected. The farmers of Gujarat are incurring huge financial losses due to damage to crops. In these circumstances, there have been successful attempts to bring up the water levels through check dams, due to which spread of salt in the land will be prevented and targets of agricultural production will be achieved.
The area of Gujarat under forest cover (7.46% in 2007) is substantially lower than the area under forest cover in the rest of the country (21.02%). The densest forest coverage in Gujarat is found in the Dangs district (80.42%) and the lowest in Rajkot (1.32%).
The main forest products are wood used in building works and wood for fuel, while the sub products are mangoes, seeds of karinji, fruits like Jambu, grass, bamboos, gum, honey, Aritha, Amla, timru leaves, oil seeds etc.
Geologically Gujarat can be divided into two main regions: main land and peninsula. Accordingly, the rivers flowing in the state are:
Main rivers: Sabarmati, Narmada, Tapi, Mahi. These are perennial rivers and meet the Gulf of Khambhat.
Other Rivers: Banas, Kolak, Saraswati, Rupen Par, Damanganga, Auranga, Poorna Ambika, Kim, Dhadhar, Mindhola, Khari, Vatrak, Vishwamitri, Meshwa etc.
Peninsula (Saurashtra and Kachchh)
Rivers flow near the hills of Thanga, Mandav and Sardhar.
Rivers like Shetrunji, Bhadar, Aji, Demi, Machchhu, Ojat, Bhogavo, Kalubhar, Ghelo, Saraswati, Khari, Rangholi etc.
The rivers flowing in peninsula are small, shipping is not possible in them. These rivers flow either towards the Arabian sea or the Gulf of Khambhat or the Desert of Kutch. During the monsoon these rivers are full of water while there is a severe shortage of water during the summer.