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Classification and Properties of the major soil in India

Apr 13, 2018 15:42 IST
    Classification and Properties of the major soil in India

    The soil is formed when rocks are broken down by the action of wind, water and climate. This process is called weathering. The characteristic features of a soil depend upon the rocks from which it has been formed and the kind of plants that grow in it. Soil forms different layers of particles of different sizes. Each layer is different from the other in texture, colour and chemical composition. Even the thickness of each layer is not the same. A vertical section that shows the different layers of soil is called a soil profile. Each layer is called a horizon. The classification and properties the Indian soil are discussed below:

    Classification and Properties of the major soil in India

    1. Alluvial Soil

    Composition: Rich in lime potash, Poor in phosphorous and humus

    Formation:  Silt brought by rivers

    Characteristics:  Very fertile, fine grained both in new alluvium (Khadar) and old alluvium

    Distribution: Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal

    Crops: Rice, Wheat, Sugarcane, Cotton, Oilseeds and Jute

    2. Black Soil (Regur)

    Composition: Rich in lime, aluminium, calcium, potash, iron, magnesium. Poor in nitrogen and humus.

    Formation: Weathering of volcanic rocks

    Characteristics: Water retentive cracks develops when dry

    Distribution: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu

    Crops: Cotton, Sugarcane, oilseeds and Tobacco

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    3. Red and Yellow Soil

    Composition: Rich in iron, poor in lime, phosphorous, calcium and nitrogen

    Formation: Decomposition of granite, gneiss and metamorphic rocks

    Characteristics: Not water retentive. When fertilizers are added, soil become productive

    Distribution: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka

    Crops: Bajra, maize, pulses, potatoes, fruits

    4. Laterite Soil

    Composition: Rich in iron, poor in lime, phosphorous, calcium, nitrogen

    Formation: Leaching of laterite rocks

    Characteristics: Agriculturally less important. Bricks are made for house construction

    Distribution: Peculiar to India- Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Odisha

    Crops: Cashew, Tapioca, Coffee and Rubber

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    5. Forest Soil

    Composition: Rich in humus. Poor in potash, phosphorous and lime

    Formation: Decomposition of organic matter

    Characteristics: Heterogeneous, character changes with parent rocks and climate. Require good deal of fertilizers.

    Distribution: Himalayan region. Western and Eastern Ghats

    Crops: Temperate fruits, spices, tea, coffee

    6. Saline Soil (Reh, Kallar, Usar, Thur,and Rakar Chopan)

    Composition: Rich in Chloride, calcium, and magnesium

    Formation: Accumulation of soluble salt

    Characteristics: Unproductive soil. In Punjab and Haryana gypsum is added to improve the soil

    Distribution: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra

    Crops: Barseem, Dhaincha and leguminous crops

    It is a major component of the Earth's ecosystem as well as life process. Hence, it is our duty to preserve and protect the soil from the exploitation. Otherwise, the world's ecosystems will be impacted through far-reaching ways by the processes carried out in the soil, from ozone depletion and global warming, rainforest destruction and water pollution.

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