Formation and Classification of Soils

In our environment there are lots of materials present, out of, which can be used to satisfy our general needs, economically feasible, culturally acceptable and more on is technologically accessible, is termed as ‘Resource‘. Living beings themselves are one of the main components of resources. They are the only ones who transforms materials available in the environment into resources and use them.

In this article, we will discuss the land resources and their Pattern in India, Soil as a Land resource and its Erosion and Conservation.

What are Land Resources?

Land is that resource on which whole human beings depend. It supports economic activities, natural vegetation, wildlife, human life, transport and communication systems all the necessary activities that are required by us. In India lands are came under various parts namely; plateaus, mountains, islands and plains as shown in the pie chart:

Land under Important Relief feature

They are of mainly two types:

  1. Land put to non-agricultural uses and
  2. Barren and wasteland

Fall lands: the land which is used for farming purposes but in order to let it recover its fertility, these lands are left with no crops for a season.

Other uncultivated lands (not-include fallow land).

Oil as a Resource

Soil is one of the most important natural renewable resources. It provides the in which humans can sustain, plants can grow and supports different types of living organisms on the earth.

  • The natural processes took thousands of years to built soil of centimetres in depth. the natural phenomena such as a change in temperature, Striking of running water over rocks, decomposer’s activities etc. lead to the building of soil.
  • Parent rock or river valley rock, changing climate, and other forms of life and time are important factors in the formation of soil.
  • Soil also contain some inorganic and organic (humus) compounds.

Classification of Oils

On the basis of the factors responsible for soil formation, colour, thickness, texture, age, chemical and physical properties, The soil is classified as:-

  1. Alluvial Soil
  2. Black Cotton Soil
  3. Red & Yellow Soil
  4. Laterite Soil
  5. Mountainous or Forest Soil
  6. Arid or Desert Soil
  7. Saline and Alkaline Soil.

Alluvial Soil

The major part of India under Alluvial soil is Northern India and its river valley – the Ganga, the Indus and the Brahmaputra.

The composition of alluvial soil is as: sand, silt and clay. Soil particles appear to be bigger in size as we move inner toward river valleys whereas the soils are coarse, in the upper side of the river valley. They are rich in potassium but lack phosphorus present.

On the basis of age Alluvial soil is classified into two categories:

  1. Bhangar (Old Alluvial): This soil contains a higher concentration of Kankar or stones than the Khadar.
  2. Khadar (New Alluvial): This kind contains fine particles therefore it is more fertile than the Bhangar.

These soils contain an adequate proportion of minerals such as Phosphorus, potash and lime etc. needed for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat and other cereal and pulse crops.

Black Soil

It covers most of the Deccan Plateau – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, parts of Maharashtra, and some parts of Tamil Nadu. This soil is ideal for the growth of cotton that’s why this soil is also called Black cotton soil.

The black consists of extremely fine particles of clay and has a very good tendency to hold moisture. Black soil is full of nutrients suited for plant growth and contains calcium carbonate, magnesium, potassium and lime also.

Mainly cultivated plants in black soil are cotton, pulses, millets, castor, sugarcane, citrus fruits, linseed, etc.

Red and Yellow soil

This type of soil develops in areas of low rainfall on the crystalline igneous rocks in the southern and eastern parts of the Deccan plateau.

Due to the difffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks this soil develops a reddish colour. When it is under-hydrated form the color appears yellow.

The region in India is found in parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain and some parts of western ghats.

Laterite Soil

The part of India under laterite soil is, in the Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Odisha, Southern states, some parts of West Bengal and north-eastern states also. The laterite soils are generally acidic in nature having ph less than 6.0 which does have enough nutrients for plants.

Under tropical and subtropical climates with alternate wet and dry seasons, laterite soil develops. The soil supports evergreen and deciduous forests but humus concentration is poor. For tea and coffee plantations this soil is favorite.

Arid Oils

The color of Arid soil is Reddish brown. This soil is generally saline in nature and sandy in texture. This kind of soil has lack humus and moisture content.

Because of the calcium increasing content downwards, the lower horizons of the soil is occupied by Kankar. The Kankar layer formations in the bottom horizons lead to the filtration of water.

Forest Oils

It is found in the northern region of India such as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam. The soil texture is coarse-grained in the upper slopes and loamy and silty in valley sides. The soil is fertile in the river valleys.

Sample Questions

Question 1: On the basis of age Alluvial soil has how many types and name them.

Answer:

There are two types of Alluvial soil on the basis of Age are as:

  1. Bhangar soil
  2. Khadar soil

Question 2: Which kind of soil is called Cotton soil, In which region of India does this soil found.

Answer:

Black soil is Ideal for the growth of the cotton that’s why this soil is also called Black cotton soil. The black soil covers most of the Deccan Plateau – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, parts of Maharashtra, and some parts of Tamil Nadu.

Question 3: Describe some properties of Alluvial Soil.

Answer:

Some of the Major properties of Alluvial soil are as:

  1. The major part in India under Alluvial soil is Northern India and its river valley – the Ganga, the Indus and the Brahmaputra..
  2. The composition of alluvial soil is as: sand, silt and clay. Soil particles appear to be bigger in size as we move inner toward river valleys whereas the soils are coarse, in the upper side of the river valley.
  3. They are rich in potassium but lack of phosphorus present.
  4. These soils contain an adequate proportion of minerals such as Phosphorus, potash and lime etc.. needs for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat and other cereal and pulse crops.

Question 4: Describe the properties of red and yellow soil.

Answer:

The basic properties of red and yellow soil are as:-

  1. Due to diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks this soil develops a reddish color . When it is under hydrated form the color appears as yellow.
  2. The region in India it is found in parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain and some part of western ghats.

Question 5: In which part of India does Laterite soil found.

Answer:

The laterite soil found in Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Odisha, Southern states, some parts of West Bengal and north-eastern states also.

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