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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. 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. In this article, we are giving the classification of the soil, composition of the soil, formation of the soil, distribution of the soil in India and what types of crops grown in the particular soils which is very useful for the UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Apr 13, 2018 15:42 IST
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Classification and Properties of the major soil in India
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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