Major Soil Types in India | Alluvial, Black, Red, Laterite, Peaty

May 19, 2021
Major Soil types in india

On the basis of genesis, colour, composition and location, the major soil types in India are:

  1. Alluvial Soil
  2. Black Soil
  3. Red Soil
  4. Laterite Soil
  5. Desert Soil
  6. Saline Soil
  7. Peaty Soil
  8. Forest Soil

Major Soil Types in India

The brief overview of Major Soil types in India are:

  1. Alluvial soil: This is the most extensive soil found in India. These soils include deltaic alluvium, calcareous alluvium and coastal alluvium. Alluvial soils are formed by transportation in streams and rivers and are deposited in flood plains or along the coastal belts. They occur in the basins of Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and Tambiraparani deltas spread in U.P., Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Predesh, Tamil Nadu. Alluvial soils are rich in nutrients and are fertile and they support good crop growth with plenty of water. Crops like rice, wheat, cotton, maize, sugarcane, vegetables, jute, oil seeds, millets, pulses and fruits are cultivated in this soil.
  2. Black soil: It is Dark-grey in colour due to clay-humus complex. Black soil holds more moisture and available for a long time. Found in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, South Orissa, South and Coastal Andhra Pradesh, North Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu. It contains high proportion of clay (30-40%), so, the water holding capacity is high. Crops grown in this soil are cotton, bengal gram, mustard, millets, pulses, oil seeds (sunflower, safflower) are commonly grown in this soil
  3. Red soil: Based on the colour (due to presence of ferric oxides) it is called as red soil. They are formed from granites and other metamorphic rocks. Mostly found in semi-arid areas and the colour varies from red to yellow. Red soil is present in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, North and East of Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Highly suitable for groundnut crop cultivation. Crops like millets, pulses, oil seeds (ground nut, gingelly, castor) and tuber crops like cassava are commonly cultivated
  4. Laterite soil: Laterite soils are formed due to the process of laterisation. i.e., leaching of all cations leaving Fe and Al oxides. Mostly found in hills and foothill areas. This soil is formed under high intensive down pour of rainfall. Rich in organic matter content and rich in fertility and medium water holding capacity. Acid loving crops (Plantation crops) and fruits (pineapple, avacado) are more cultivated. Tea, rubber, pepper, spices are cultivated
  5. Desert soil: Found in desert regions of Rajasthan (Thar desert), parts of Haryana and Punjab of India. More sand is found and sand dunes are common. Poor fertility, poor water holding capacity and susceptible to soil erosion. Crops like date palm, cucumber, millets are cultivated
  6. Saline Soil: Saline soils contain a larger proportion of sodium, potassium and magnesium, and thus, they are infertile, and do not support any vegetative growth. They have more salts, largely because of dry climate and poor drainage. They occur in arid and semi-arid regions, and in waterlogged and swampy areas. Saline soils are more widespread in western Gujarat, deltas of the eastern coast and in Sunderban areas of West Bengal.
  7. Peaty Soil: They are found in the areas of heavy rainfall and high humidity, where there is a good growth of vegetation. Thus, large quantity of dead organic matter accumulates in these areas, and this gives a rich humus and organic content to the soil. Organic matter in these soils may go even up to 40-50 per cent. It occurs widely in the northern part of Bihar, southern part of Uttaranchal and the coastal areas of West Bengal, Orissa and Tamil Nadu
  8. Forest soil: Forest soils are formed in the forest areas where sufficient rainfall is available. The soils vary in structure and texture depending on the mountain environment where they are formed. They are loamy and silty on valley sides and coarse-grained in the upper slopes. In the snow-bound areas of the Himalayas, they experience denudation, and are acidic with low humus content. The soils found in the lower valleys are fertile

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