Considering the elements shaping soil creation--color, thickness, texture, age, and chemical and physical traits--India's soils are assorted into categories as follows. Let's explore these diverse soil classifications in detail below.
Originates Where: Stretching over the northern plains, alluvial soil is essential. Forged from the monumental matrimony of the Himalayas' three colossal rivers--Indus/Ganga/Brahmaputra--the soil boasts unparalleled traits.
This exceptional amalgamation of the rivers' abundant blessings not only delivers an environment capable of nurturing crops but also creates a thriving ecosystem bursting with vitality.
The fertile alluvial soil, boasting a magical blend, imparts vital nutrients and minerals throughout the fields.
Covers Which Parts: This all-star soil extends across regions like Rajasthan, Gujarat, and the eastern coastal plains too. Harmoniously coexisting with the overflowing natural bounty, it partners with the mesmerizing deltas created by the magnificent fabulous foursome of rivers: Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri.
The magnificent hydraulic titans tirelessly sculpt and shape the lands' fertile expanses, allowing the all-star soil to shine in its role as an agricultural marvel truly. So let’s dive further into the world of alluvial soil and uncover its qualities!
Contains What: Alluvial soil, the ultimate testament to nature's versatility, boasts an eclectic mixture of sand, silt, and clay in proportions that chimes smoothly.
Alluvial soils, often found bordering riverbanks, are considered highly fertile owing to their rich concentration of crucial minerals. These soils boast the appropriate balance of potash, phosphoric acid, and lime that create the perfect environment for thriving agricultural production.
What Grows in It?
Sugarcane, paddy, wheat, and various other cereal and pulse crops benefit from these nutrient-dense grounds. Moreover, alluvial soil's excellent drainage avoids waterlogging, allowing optimal aeration and root development to flourish.
The soil's exceptional moisture retention talents significantly strengthens its ability to sustain a vast assortment of flora. Thus, alluvial soils contribute significantly to regional agricultural economies with their bountiful yields and robust crop diversity.
Type: As one venture inland towards the fertile embrace of river valleys, one may chance upon larger soil particles, tightly woven together to create a steadfast foundation for thriving vegetation.
Meanwhile, the upper reaches of the river valley serve as a realm of contrast, presenting coarser soils that may be due to relentless erosion and deposition processes shaping the landscape.
This dynamic interplay between fine and coarse textures creates an environment ripe for diversity, nurturing a wide array of flora and fauna that call these fertile lands their home.
Classification: Alluvial soils, based on age, fall into two categories:
- Old Alluvial (Bangar): Boasting a richer concentration of Kanker nodules, the Bangar soil outdoes the Khadar.
- New Alluvial (Khadar): Championing finer particles and increased fertility, the Khadar soil surpasses the Bangar.
What Causes it?
This deep, dark-hued soil, often referred to as regur soil, displays an impressive shade of black that sets it apart. A surprisingly apt combination of climatic conditions and the original rock material come together in a perfect union to give rise to this unique black soil.
These environmental amalgamations, facilitated by various weather patterns and geological foundations, work their magic behind the scenes, contributing substantially to the exceptional characteristics of this enigmatic earth variety.
The luscious stretches of land have a special black soil composition. This comes from a mix of extremely fine clay materials. The soil is popular for its remarkable ability to hold moisture that supports life.
Distinguished for its nutrient richness, this dark reservoir of fertility brims with essential elements like calcium carbonate/magnesium/potash/lime.
What Quality of It Gives its Name?
This soil is ideal for cultivating cotton and is also distinctively characterized as black cotton soil due to its rich, dark color aspect.
Where Is It Found?
Interestingly, this distinctive type of soil predominantly covers the Deccan trap (Basalt) region in the northwest Deccan plateau, which possesses an extensive history rooted in lava flows.
This fertile soil blanket generously spreads over the stunning plateaus of Maharashtra/ Malwa/Saurashtra/Chhattisgarh/Madhya Pradesh. It also majestically extends in the southeast direction along the verdant Godavari and Krishna valleys.
Its productive nature for certain plants can be attributed to the abundance of minerals. These are trapped within the soil, enabling agriculturalists to cultivate high-quality cotton successfully with minimal difficulty.
Furthermore, the soil's moisture retention capabilities also contribute significantly to the thriving cotton fields and ecosystems it supports, maintaining biodiversity.
Working on this enticing landscape can be quite a difficult task. When wet from rain, the soil turns stubbornly sticky.
This calls for a skilled hand to till it skillfully either immediately after the first shower or during the eagerly anticipated pre-monsoon period.
The interesting development of these soil types occurs on age-old, weathered crystalline rocks, providing a unique foundation for their formation. Their distinct characteristics vary region-wise.
This happens largely due to the influence of their original parental rock material and the prevailing climatic conditions of the area.
One striking feature of these soils is their vibrant red coloring, which can be attributed to the substantial presence of iron oxides within their composition. Interestingly, they undergo a visual transformation and display a striking yellow shade when existing in a hydrated state.
These soils possess a porous structure. This contributes to the overall looseness and aerated nature of the soil. However, this condition is conducive to plant growth.
Nutrients Deficiency and Measures to Overcome
However, they turn deficient in necessary nutrients like nitrogen/phosphorous/potassium. This scarcity demands the establishment of irrigation support systems to aid successful cultivation efforts.
What Can Be Grown on Them?
In the face of challenges, these soils showcase their adaptability and strength. They offer fertile ground for a variety of crops, including veggies, rice, ragi, and even tobacco! This demonstrates the amazing versatility of this exceptional soil.
If you want videos related to different soil types--Alluvial, Black, and Red Soils or want to get to know more about them, you can contact Nobel Learn.