Classification of soil -Teachoo.jpg

  • Soil is the uppermost layer of the earth's crust that supports plant growth and provides nutrients, water and air to living organisms.
  • Soil can be classified into different types based on various factors such as texture, structure, colour, depth, fertility, water content, organic matter, pH and temperature.
  • The main types of soil are: sandy soil, clayey soil, loamy soil, laterite soil, black soil, red soil, alluvial soil and desert soil.

Alluvial soils

  • Widely spread and important soil.
  • Entire region of the northern plain is made up of alluvial soil.
  • Deposited by the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.
  • Through a narrow corridor these soil extends in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Found in Eastern coastal plains.
  • Old alluvial soil is called Bangar and new is called Khadar.
  • Alluvial soil is very fertile.
  • Rich in potash, phosphoric acid and lime.
  • Regions of alluvial soil are intensely cultivated and densely populated.

Alluvial Soil - Teachoo.jpg


Black soil

  • Black soil is also known as regur soils .
  • Black soil is considered ideal for growing cotton and is also known as black cotton soil.
  • Climate conditions and parent rock materia l are key factors for the formation of black soil.
  • This soil is typical of the Deccan trap (Basalt region) which is spread over northwest Deccan plateau.
  • This soil is made up of lava flows.
  • Black soil covers the plateau of Maharashtra , Saurashtra , Malwa , Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and extends in the southeast direction along the Godavari and Krishna Valleys.
  • Black soil is made up of clayey material.
  • Black soil is known for its capacity to hold moisture.
  • Black soi l is rich in nutrients such as calcium carbonate , magnesium, potash and lime.
  • Black soil lacks phosphoric content.
  • During hot weather this soil develops deep cracks which helps in proper aeration of the soil .
  • When wet black soil turns very sticky and is difficult to work on if not tilled immediately after the first shower or pre monsoon period.

Red and Yellow Soils

  • Red soi l develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau.
  • Red and Yellow soils are also found in the parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Southern parts of the middle Ganga plain and along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghats.
  • These soils develop a reddish color due to diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks.
  • The soil looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.

Red and Yellow Soil - Teachoo.jpg

Laterite Soil

  • Laterite word has been derived from the Latin word ‘later ’ meaning brick.
  • Laterite soil develops and is found in areas with high temperatures and heavy rainfall.
  • Formation of Laterite soil is a result of intense leaching due to heavy rains.
  • The content of Humus in the laterite soil is low because most of the microorganisms , mainly the decomposers like bacteria , get destroyed because of high temperature.
  • For cultivation on laterite soil adequate amounts of manures and fertilizers are required.
  • Laterite soil is mainly found in Karnataka, Kerala , Tamil Nadu , Madhya Pradesh , and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.
  • Laterite soil becomes very useful for growing tea and coffee after adopting appropriate conservation techniques particularly in the hilly areas of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Laterite soils found in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are more suitable for the cultivation of crops like cashew nuts.

Laterite Soil - Teachoo.jpg

Arid Soils

  • Arid soils range from red to brown in color.
  • Arid soils are sandy in texture and saline in nature.
  • In some areas the amount of salt is very much which is then used in obtaining salt by evaporating the water.
  • Because of dry climate , high temperature with more rate of evaporation the soil lacks humus and moisture.
  • In Arid soil the lower horizons of the soil are occupied with Kankar because of increase in calcium content downwards.
  • The Kankar layer formation in the bottom horizon restricts the infiltration of water.
  • Arid soils become cultivable after proper irrigation as has been in the case of Western Rajasthan.

Arid soil - Teachoo.jpg

Forest Soils

  • These soils are available in hilly and mountainous areas where sufficient rain forests are available.
  • The texture of the forest soils varies according to the mountain environment where they are formed.
  • They are coarse grained in the upper slopes and loamy and silty in valley sides.
  • In the snow covered areas of Himalayas , the forest soils experience denudation and are acidic in nature and contain low amounts of Humus .
  • The forest soils found in the lower parts of valleys especially on the river terraces and alluvial fans are fertile.

Forest soil - Teachoo.jpg

Major soil types found in India

Major Soil types - Teachoo.jpg

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.