Types of soil in India

Types of soil in India

Short Note on soil, types of soil in India and its uses. This Static GK is very important for every competitive exam such as SSC CGL, RAILWAY, BANK etc.

Definition of Soil

Soil can be simply defined as a mixture of small rock particles/debris and organic materials/ humus which develop on the earth surface and support growth of plants.

  1. Alluvial soil
  • Mostly available soil in India (about 43%) which covers an area of 143 sq.km.
  • Widespread in northern plains and river valleys such as Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputhra plain, Narmada-Tapi plain etc.
  • Humus, lime and organic matters are present.
  • These are Highly fertile.
  • They are depositional soil – transported and deposited by rivers, streams etc.
  • Sand content decreases from west to east of the country.
  • New alluvium is termed as Khadar and old alluvium is termed as Bhangar.
  • Crops Grown: Wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, pulses, oilseed etc are cultivated mainly.
  1. Red soil
  • Seen mainly in low rainfall area.
  • Also known as Omnibus group.
  • Lack of lime, phosphate, manganese, nitrogen, humus and potash.
  • Crops Grown: Wheat, cotton, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, potato etc are cultivated.
  1. Black soil or Regur soil
  • Regur means cotton – best soil for cotton cultivation.
  • Most of the Deccan is occupied by Black soil.
  • Mature soil.
  • High water retaining capacity.
  • Swells and will become sticky when wet and shrink when dried.
  • Self-ploughing is a characteristic of the black soil as it develops wide cracks when dried.
  • Rich in Iron, lime, calcium, potassium, aluminum and magnesium but deficient in Nitrogen, Phosphorous and organic matter.
  1. Laterite soil
  • Name from Latin word ‘Later’ which means Brick.
  • Become so soft when wet and so hard when dried.
  • In the areas of high temperature and high rainfall.
  • Formed as a result of high leaching.
  • Lime and silica will be leached away from the soil.
  • Organic matters of the soil will be removed fast by the bacteria as it is high temperature and humus will be taken quickly by the trees and other plants. Thus, humus content is low.
  • Rich in Iron and Aluminum but deficient in Nitrogen, Potash, Potassium, Lime, Humus
  • Crops Grown: Rice, Ragi, Sugarcane and Cashew nuts are cultivated mainly.
  1. Desert / arid soil
  • Seen under Arid and Semi-Arid conditions.
  • Deposited mainly by wind activities.
  • High salt content.
  • Lack of moisture and Humus.
  • Kankar or Impure Calcium carbonate content is high which restricts the infiltration of water.
  • Nitrogen is insufficient and Phosphate is normal.
  1. Peaty / marshy soil
  • Areas of heavy rainfall and high humidity.
  • Growth of vegetation is very less.
  • A large quantity of dead organic matter/humus which makes the soil alkaline.
  • Heavy soil with black colour.
  1. Forest soil
  • Regions of high rainfall.
  • Humus content is less and thus the soil is acidic.
  1. Mountain soil
  • In the mountain regions of the country.
  • Immature soil with low humus and acidic.

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