What is soil?

Meaning or definition of soil: Coarse, medium and fine organic and inorganic mixed particles on the earth's upper surface are called soil. Soil is formed by mixing small fine particles of broken rocks, minerals, organic matter, bacteria etc. Soil consists of several layers, the topmost layer containing small soil particles, decayed plant and animal remains, this layer is important for the production of crops.

The second layer is of fine grained clay like clay and the bottom is a mixture of fragmented rocks and clay and the last layer consists of unfragmented hard rocks. 'Soil Science' is a major branch of physical geography in which the scientific study of soil formation, its characteristics and its distribution on the surface is done.

Soil types in india:

There are many types of soil and the use of each type of soil is different according to its properties. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has divided the soil of India into 8 classes. The Central Soil Conservation Board was established in 1953 for soil conservation. A research center has been set up at Jodhpur in Rajasthan to study the problem of deserts. The main types of soil found in India are as follows: -

  1. Alluvial Soil
  2. Red Soil
  3. Black Soil
  4. Laterite Soil
  5. Saline and Alkaline Soil
  6. Peaty and Other Organic soil
  7. Arid and Desert Soil
  8. Forest Soil

1. What is alluvial soil?

Alluvial soil extends from Punjab in the west of northern India to the delta region of the Ganga river covering the entire northern Great Plain. It is very fertile, it is also called trembling or alluvial soil. It is found in about 40% of India. The extent of this soil is generally limited to river basins and plains of the country. This light brown colored soil covers 7.68 lakh sq km and is brought by Sutlej, Ganga, Yamuna, Ghaghra, Gandak, Brahmaputra and their tributaries.

Pebbles are not found in this soil. Nitrogen, phosphorus and vegetable fractions are found deficient in this soil. These elements are present in greater quantity in Khadar than in Bhambhar, hence Khadar is more fertile. In areas of low rainfall in Bhambhar, at some places saline soil is barren or barren. Old alluvial soil is found in Bhambhar and Terai areas, latest alluvial soil in deltaic parts, new alluvial soil is found in central valley.

The area of ​​old alluvial soil is called Bhambhar and the area of ​​new alluvial soil is called Khadar. Its physical characteristics are determined by climatic conditions especially rainfall and growth of vegetation. Pulses, cotton, sugarcane, wheat, rice, jute, tobacco, oilseed crops and vegetables are cultivated in this soil through irrigation in northern India.

2. What is called red soil?

Red soil is formed as a result of climatic changes due to disintegration and disintegration of coarse and metamorphic rocks. Cotton, wheat, pulses and coarse grains are cultivated in this soil. Due to its formation from granite rocks, its color is found to be brown, chocolate, yellow or even black. It contains both small and large particles. Soils with small particles are quite fertile, while soils with large particles are often found in the form of barren wastelands. Nitrogen, phosphorus and small amounts of organic matter are found in it, while iron elements, alumina and lime are found in sufficient quantity.

The composition of this soil is as follows-
  • Insoluble matter - 90.47%
  • Iron-: 3.61%
  • Aluminum: 2.92%
  • Biogenous: 1.01%
  • Magnesia: 0.70%
  • Lime: 0.56%
  • Carbon dioxide: 0.30%
  • Potash: 0.24%

3. What is called black soil?

Black soil is also known as 'regad soil' or 'black cotton soil'. Black soil is a mature soil, mainly found in the lava region of the southern peninsular plateau. It is made up of two classes of rocks, the Deccan Trap and the ferrous gneiss and schist. These soils are mainly found in the alluvial parts of India. Due to being most suitable for cotton cultivation, it is also called 'black cotton soil' or 'cotton soil'. The water holding capacity of this soil is high. This is the reason why this soil is suitable for dry farming.

The chemical composition of this soil is as follows-

  • Ferric Oxide: 11.24%
  • Alumina: 9.39%
  • Water and organics: 5.83%
  • Lime: 1.81%
  • Magnesia: 1.79%

The main crop of its soil is cotton. Sugarcane, banana, jowar, tobacco, castor, groundnut and soyabean also grow well in this soil.

4. What is laterite soil?

Laterite soil is found in tropical regions. This soil is often found in those tropical regions, where there is seasonal rainfall. The color of this soil is red, but it is different from 'red soil'. This soil formed by weathering of rocks in the dry season is classified as deep red laterite and laterite with underground water.

Iron oxide and potash are abundant in deep red laterite. Fertility is low in this, in high places it is often thin and gravelly and not suitable for agriculture, but in the plains it is used for agriculture. White laterite has the lowest fertility and due to the excess of kaolin, its color becomes white. This soil is found in limited areas in the hilly parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal and some parts of Orissa, Plateau of South India, Rajmahal and Chotanagpur Plateau, Assam etc.

In South India, paddy is cultivated in the plains and tea, coffee, rubber and cinchona are grown in the higher regions. This type of soil is formed in areas of high heat and rainfall. That's why it lacks humus and leaching is more.

The chemical composition of this soil is as follows-

  • Iron - 18.7%
  • Silica: 32.62%
  • Alumina: 25.2%
  • Phosphorus: 0.7%
  • Lime: 0.42%

5. What is alkaline soil?

This soil is found in arid and semi-arid areas, swampy areas and areas with excessive irrigation. They are also known by the names of Thor, Usar, Kallahad, Rakad, Ray and Chopan. This soil is born due to excessive irrigation in dry areas and due to faulty water flow in areas with excessive rainfall and the waterline being up-down. In this type of soil, alkali or salts from the lower layers of the soil come to the upper layers by evaporation. Due to the high amount of sodium, calcium and magnesium found in this soil, this soil often becomes unproductive.

6. What is light black and marshy soil?

Most of the organic elements are found in high quantity in this soil. It is generally found in humid regions. Swampy soil is found in coastal parts of Orissa, deltaic areas of Sundarbans, central areas of Bihar, Almora in Uttarakhand and south-eastern Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts.

7. What is sandy soil?

This soil is found in arid and semi-arid regions such as: western Rajasthan and areas of the Aravalli Mountains, northern Gujarat, southern Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Wheat, sugarcane, cotton, jowar, bajra are grown with the help of irrigation. Where there is no irrigation facility, this land is found barren. Different types of other soils: What is yellow-white soil? Yellowish-white soil is found on the banks of ponds, fields and rivers. This type of soil is used to cure diseases of any person.

What is called fertile soil?

Sajji is also called a type of soil, it is used to clean clothes.

What is Multani Mitti?

This is a special type of soil, which women rub on the body like a boil and apply it on the hair too. Applying Multani Mitti brings shine to the skin and hair of women.

What is sand soil?

Sand is also called soil which is necessary for any human being in the same way as food and water. But only naturopaths know the properties of sandy soil very well. Food items eaten in natural condition like greens, cucumber, cucumber etc. always have some part of sandy soil along with them, which we lose due to lack of knowledge. These sand soil particles help in keeping our food digestion process right.

What is mountain soil?

The quantity of pebbles and stones is more in the mountain soil. Mountain soil also lacks potash, phosphorus and lime. Horticulture agriculture is mainly done in hilly areas. Jhum cultivation is practiced only in hilly areas. Jhum cultivation is mostly practiced in Nagaland. Most hot spices are cultivated in the mountainous region.

What is loam soil?

Loam is a type of soil which is very fertile for crops. It contains about 40% silt, 20% clay and the remaining 40% sand. Because of being more porous for the entry of water and air, the fertility of the crops is more. Such soil has the capacity to hold water 50% of its total weight. The amount of nutrients in this soil is also high.

Different types of loams are formed due to different fractions of silt, sand and clay in loamy soil, such as sandy loam, silty loam, smooth loam, sandy loam etc. Loamy soil has more nutrients, more moisture, more humus than clay soil. Plowing of loamy soil is easier than clay soil. It has better ability to filter air and water and drainage than silty soil. Loamy soil is considered best for gardening and agriculture. If a large amount of organic matter is found in a sandy or clayey soil, then its properties will also be like loam.

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Soils of India GK Questions and Answers 🔗

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Types of Soil FAQs:

Limestone soil is mainly found in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is a carbonate stone which is used in construction, manufacturing, cement production and agriculture.

In India, laterite soils are found in hilly parts and lowlands of Tamil Nadu, Coorg district of Karnataka, broad coast of Kerala state, Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, between the basalt and granite hills of West Bengal and upper parts of Orissa plateau.

Insectivorous plants are carnivorous plants that obtain their nutrients by trapping and consuming insects, protozoa, or other arthropods. They grow in nitrogen deficient soils and obtain nitrogen from various insects like Draeger, Nepres, Diona, etc.

The soil having maximum water-holding capacity is called Loamy Soil. Loamy soil is a mixture consisting of clay pieces, sand and clay lumps. Due to this mixture, this soil has good water-holding capacity and is recognized as a fertile soil.

Drought soil is very fertile because it comes from different types of rocks.

  Last update :  Sat 19 Nov 2022
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  Post Category :  Physical Geography of India