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Soils of Western

Answer :

The continuous topography of the Ghats in Karnataka serve as a barrier to rain-bearing winds from crossing over the gentle slope also provides a greater area for sunlight absorption and heating leading to greater convection when compared with an abrupt slope.

Physiological factors play a major role behind the serious condition of wind erosion in the Western Ghats. A large chunk of Western Zone is arid or semi-arid. Wind erosion is result of extreme form of soil degradation due to aridity. The weighted average annual rain fall in the Western zone is approximately 600 mm. In the western zone, over 8 months are physiologically dry. Wind erosion affects the coastal region of Gujarat. In these regions, rainfall is scanty and erratic and very little or almost no surface vegetation exists.


Goa, which forms part of the Western Ghats region, with continuous range of the Sahyadri hills, is exposed to this phenomenon due to the practice of mining in this area. Southern part of Western Ghats is also semi-arid with red and black soil dominating the region. Therefore, soil depths are poor and the forest soils have low fertility. Moisture stress is the most limiting factor.


Biotic activities like grazing and soil working loosen the soil particles. Some other factors includes shifting cultivation and of cultivable wastelands. Due to all these, high velocity wind shifts the soil particles easily.


EXPLANATION: The physiological factors have played a crucial role leading to wind erosion in the Western Ghats. Due to scarce rainfall, the vegetation is sparse. Wind erosion is the extreme form of soil degradation due to aridity. Goa, which forms part of the Western Ghats region, is also exposed to mining. The southern part of the Western Ghats is also semi arid as it is devoid of vegetation. Extremely dry weather with sparse vegetation in the Western Ghats has resulted in the soil erosion (by wind).


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