Black soils | Regur soils | Cotton soil | volcanic soils| Classification of Indian Soil | UP-PCS | UPSC| Physical Features |GEOGRAPHY OF INDIA

Origin of Black Soil or formation of Black soil:

Black soil is also called Regur Soils( Telugu word Reguda). Black soil is of volcanic origin, it is originated when the Indian plate was moving towards the Eurasian plate from Reunion's volcanic hotspots[ about 65 million years ago]. It is ideal for growing cotton crops that is why it is also called cotton soil. 
  • Climatic conditions ( for weathering) and parent materials( basalt Igneous rock) are the two important factors for the formation of black soil. 
  • Black soil is a result of weathering of igneous basaltic rocks; it is a sediment of extrusive rock. 
  • Black soil is generally found in the Deccan traps. Deccan trap is formed 66 million years ago. 
  • The thickness or depth of Black soil is around 2000 meters

Distribution of Black soil in India:

Most of the Deccan traps are covered by black soil. The following are the distribution of black soil in India:

  • Maharashtra's plateau
  • Saurashtra region of Gujarat
  • Part of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
  • Upper Parts of Godavari and Krishna valley
  • Parts of Andhra Pradesh
  • Northern Part of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
  • The southeastern part of Rajasthan
Black soil


Characteristics of Black soil :

The following are major characteristics of Black soil:
  • The black color of soils is due to high iron, aluminum, and magnetite.
  • Black soil is made up of finer clay materials which is why It got sticky when wet and Cracks develop when dry.
  • As Black soil is made up of finer clay materials that is why it has a high holding capacity for moisture.
Black soil is rich in soil nutrients such as:
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Magnesium
  • Potash
  • Lime
  • Black soil is poor in Phosphorous, Nitrogen, and Humus content.
Black soil develops deep cracks when it dries which helps proper aeration of the soil. It is also called self-ploughing.
  • Black soil gets sticky when wet which is why needed plowing before monsoon or immediately after the first monsoon shower, otherwise very difficult to plow.
  • Black soil is very fertile and highly suitable for any crops as:
  • It has a high moisture-holding capacity.
  • Rich in many nutrients
  • Self aeration or self plowing in nature.

Black soils are generally two types:

  • Light black soil is found in the higher reaches of the Deccan Trap. which is less fertile.
  • Deep black soils are found in the lower reaches of the Deccan Traps, and in the upper reaches of the Godavari and Krishna valleys. it is more fertile

The economic significance of the volcanic soil or black soil or Regur soil of India:
  • Volcanic soils are igneous in nature and have very fine clayey particles due to the cooling of lava at the earth's surface. It is mineral-rich and contains lime, iron, magnesia, alumina, calcium, and potash, hence it supports a wide variety of plant species. However, black soil is lacking in nitrogen, phosphorous, and organic matter.
  • Black soils are found in rainfed areas of India and it has high moisture retaining capacity which reduces the cost of irrigation.
  • Deep black soil is highly productive due to the presence of high clay, iron, potash, and humus content.
  • Black soils are suitable for Cotton, vegetable, large coarse grains( Jowar, Bajra, etc), tobacco, etc. For high cotton yield, the cotton crops need a dry atmosphere and moist soil, hence black soil is most suitable for cotton cultivation.
  • Black soils are key for food security, nutritional security, and agro-based industry[ cotton textile industry].


Try to solve the following questions:
  • Discuss the economic significance of the volcanic soils of India. ( 10 marks) ( UPSC 2021 geography optional)
  • Name three states having black soil and the crop which is mainly grown in it. (NCERT)
  •  What are black soils? Describe their formation and characteristics. (NCERT)
  • What are the major characteristics of Black soils?
  • Describe the distribution of black soils in India and their specific use for agriculture. (UPSC 2016, 200 words, 15 marks)
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