Discuss the Salient features of Major Soil Types of India.| Indian Geography | UP PCS Optional Geography Mains Paper 2 2019




Discuss the Salient features of Major Soil Types of India.
( UPPSC, UP PCS, 2019, 15 Marks)
भारत के प्रमुख मिट्टी प्रकारों की मुख्य विशेषताओं की विवेचना कीजिये।

Answer:

Soil is the result of the interaction between the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. It is a dynamic medium where physical and chemical properties of soil change over time, however, based on the texture, process, and color, Indian soils can be classified into the following types:

  • Forest Soils
  • Alluvial Soils
  • Arid Soils
  • Black Soils
  • Red Soil
  • Laterite Soils

Major Soils types of India
Major Soils types of India

Forest Soil:
The following are the characteristics:

  • It is made up of forests or plants, hence it is acidic in nature.
  • It is generally high in humus and low in phosphorous and Potash.
  • Region:
    • Himalayan, Arunachal Pradesh, and part of Western and Eastern Ghats.


Alluvial Soils:
The following are the characteristics:

  • It is made by the deposition of the river's channel.
  • It is poor in nitrogen and Phosphorous but rich in Potash.
  • Very fertile and very suitable for wheat, rice, sugarcane, and vegetable cultivation.
  • Region:
    • Indus, Ganga, Brahaputra basin, and eastern coast of India.


Arid Soils:
The following are the characteristics:

  • It is found that evaporation is greater than rainfall and formed by capillary action.
  • It is rich in salt.
  • Region:
    • The western part of India and the shadow zone of western ghats where evaporation is much greater than precipitation.


Black Soils:
The following are the characteristics:

  • Black in color due to the presence of Iron.
  • The high content of Iron, Aluminum, Magnesium, Potash
  • Poor in Nitrogen and Humus Content.
  • It is also called regur soil or cotton soil.
  • It is suitable for cotton, Coarse grain crops.
  • Region:
    • Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, MP, Karnataka, and part of Tamilnadu.


Red Soils:
The following are the characteristics:
  • Red color because of Iron oxide.
  • Poor in nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash
  • Highly productive if the soil is added.
  • Region:
  •  Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu,  Odisha, Andra Pradesh, Northeast India.


Laterite Soils:
The following are the characteristics:



  • Upper soil is unproductive due to the leaching of minerals because of high rainfall. However, the low soil profile is highly productive and hence suitable for larger plants.
  • Humus content is low due to high bacterial activities.
  • It is suitable for plantation agriculture such as tea, coffee, Rubber, etc.
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