Q. 185.0( 3 Votes )
Discuss the basis on which soil is classified in India.
Soils in India are classified as:
(i) Alluvial Soil: This soil is the most common type found in India. It covers about 43% of the land area. It is abundant in northern plains and river valleys, and in the peninsula. It is grey in colour, and the texture is sandy, loamy or clayey. It is highly fertile because it consists of humus, lime and other organic compounds. It is also rich in potash. These soils are mainly transported and deposited by rivers . It consists of two types of soil:Khadar or new alluvium and Bhangar which is old alluvium. The main crops which can be sown are rice,sugarcane,and pulses.
(ii) Red Soil: This type of soil is found mostly in areas of low rainfall. It occupies about 3.5 lakh sq. km of land. It is mostly porous, and clayey and its fertility depends on the area. It is red in colour due to iron oxide and is rich in potash and potassium. It is found in parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chota Nagpur Plateau, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The crops that are sown on red soil are wheat,cotton,potatoes,fruits,and millets.
(iii) Black Soil: It is also known as regur soil. It is found in the Deccan Plateau and has a high water-retaining capacity. It is rich in iron,lime,calcium,potassium,aluminium and magnesium. It is clayey in texture and develops cracks when dried. It is best for growing cotton.
(iv) Laterite Soil: It is derived from the Latin word “later” which means brick. It is found in areas of high rainfall and temperature. It is red in colour due to the gravel of red sandstones. They are rich in ferric oxides and in higher places there may be a higher content of humus. It is rich in iron and aluminium. Heavy leaching occurs in this type of soil leading to its infertility. After irrigation and adding of manure, this soul is suitable for growth of tea, coffee, rubber and coconut. It also supports the growth of grazing grounds and is useful as a building material.
(v) Desert Soil: It is also known as arid soil. This soil occupies 4.32% of the land. It consists of Aeolian sand and clay. This soil is formed by sands blown by the wind which causes desertification of the land. Occurs in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Sandy, clay less soil occurs in the coastal regions of Orissa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It has very minimum organic matter and calcium carbonate and phosphate. Drought tolerant crops like pulses, cotton, barley and maize are grown on desert soil.
(vi) Forest Soil: This kind of soil is found in Eastern and Western Ghats. It occurs in places of high rainfall. Humus content is less lending to the acidic nature. It is suitable for tea, coffee and spices.
(vii) Mountain Soil: This kind of soil occupies 6.5% of land in India. This soil is mainly found on hill slopes covered by forests. It is found in the valleys of the Himalayan region on the north side. It requires a high amount of fertilizer for good crop yield. It is suitable for wheat, maize and temperate fruits.
(viii) Marshy Soil: This soil occurs in humid areas with heavy rainfall. It is black in colour and highly acidic. It occurs in Sunderbans of West Bengal, coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Uttrakhand.
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