(Last Updated on : 13/03/2012)
There are various types of soils found in India and the formation of soil is primarily influenced by major factors such as climate, altitude and composition of bedrock etc. Disproportion in the annual distribution of rainfall in the country and excessive heat contribute special characters to the soils of the country. The soils of the Sutlej
plain and the valleys of Narmada River
and Tapti River
are essentially the transported ones. The eight major types of soils in India are Laterite soils, Black soils, Desert soils, Red and Yellow soils, Saline soils, alluvial soils, Mountain soils and peat soils.
The various Types of Soils found in India are discussed below-
Laterite Soil in India
This is the soil of the tropical regions of the country. Laterite soil is available in those regions that receive heavy rainfall. This soil is poor in lime content and hence it is more acidic. It is basically red in colour because of the presence of iron oxides. Lateritic soils are well developed in the southern region of Western Ghats and Orissa
`s Eastern Ghats. It is more popular in the coastal regions of Ratnagiri District
and Malabar. This soil contains least moisture content. Laterite Soils are mostly found on the plateau in the east spreading partly over Orissa
and Tamil Nadu
, parts of Chhota nagpur and Meghalaya
Black Soil in India
Black soils are alternatively known as Regur soils. They are black in colour as suggested by the name. The colour of the soil is black because of the presence of certain salts. However, in some places, presence of humus in the soil imparts its black colour. This soil becomes sticky when is wet owing to the high quantity of clay deposition. Black soils are generally thin and sandy in the hilly regions of the country. It does not contain adequate nitrogen but it contains sufficient phosphorous required for the growth of the plants. Black soils can be found in the Deccan plateau and also in plateaus of Madhya Pradesh
, Malwa and Maharashtra
Red and Yellow Soil in India
Red and Yellow soils are found in areas, which receive low rainfall. They generally develop on metamorphic rocks. They contain huge concentration of iron oxides that are responsible for giving the reddish or yellow colour. They are less clayey and sandier and are poor in important minerals like lime, phosphorous and nitrogen. Red soil
is acidic like that of the Lateritic soil. This soil is mainly cultivated during the monsoon rainy season. Red soils also develop in Manipur
Plateau and Mizoram
Saline Soil in India
Saline soils develop in the coastal plains of Kerala and Orissa. In some regions of the country, salt content is in toxic doses. Saline soils are basically black in colour. They are highly acidic.
Alluvial Soil in India
Alluvial soils are mainly found in the plains of northern India
. These soils have low phosphorous and nitrogen content. These soils are sandier in their composition. Even in the north western regions of the country which are drier these soils are found. The Himalayan Rivers, Ganga, Sutlej and Brahmaputra
, and their tributaries have deposited these soils in the plains of northern India.
Desert Soil in India
These soils are basically sandy and are of light brown and reddish colour. They are of saline texture. These soils are favourable for vegetation if there is water content. These soils contain an important mineral that is nitrogen. This type of soil is found in desert regions like in Thar Desert of Rajasthan.
Mountain Soil in India
Mountain soils are considered as a significant variety of soil in the Himalayan region of the country. They are mainly found in dry and cold district in the northern region of India.
Peat soil has usually been derived from marsh land where there has been continuous growth and decay over thousands of years. They are usually absolutely free of lime and so are very sour. This sourness is produced by the decaying of the vegetable matter present, as peat soils contain more than 20% of humus. These are found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal
Peat is usually found in low-lying areas, and so may be waterlogged and may need pipe draining. Certain crops, like celery, for instance, do very well on peat soils. Once peat soils are well worked and limed, they can prove very valuable- in fact some plants (acid lovers), like rhododendrons and azaleas, prefer these soils to any other. It has fewer nutrients and is dark brown in colour. It is formed in wet climate. It is found in marshy areas. This type of soil known as peat usually contains more organic matter.