All About Soil

soil

What is soil?

All about soil
  • Soil is a combination of loose weathered particles of Rocks and Minerals mixed with organic matter found on the surface of the earth. 
  • All about soil is going to be provided in this article. The richness of soil depends upon the type of parent Rock and the amount of humus–  a mixture of decayed plant material and dead organisms.
  • Soil develops through the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes.
  • Soil is the uppermost layer of the earth’s crust. It is the most important renewable natural resource.
  • Soil is the medium in which plants grow.
  • Plants provide food for all creatures of land So we can say that all land creatures depend, directly or indirectly on soil for food.
  • Factors affecting soil formation- The formation of soil is governed by several factors.
  • The most important factors among these are the bedrock, topography, natural vegetation, climate, time, parent material, relief, etc.

 

 
  • O horizon– This layer is the topmost layer of the soil profile. This layer contains humus. It has plant roots and soil organisms. 
  • A horizon– This layer is also rich in humus. By the process of leaching, Dissolved minerals get washed down to this layer. 
  • B horizon– This layer has little humus. Some leached minerals from the above layer (A horizon) collect here results in changing the color of the soil. 
  • C horizon– At this layer, the parent rock breaks down due to the process of weathering. 
  • R horizon- At this layer parent rock is there. 
 

Alluvial Soil

Laterite Soil
Regur or black Soil
Red Soil
Sandy Soil
Mountain Soil
 
Alluvial soil
  • Alluvial soil is found mainly in the Northern Plains and in deltas. Alluvial soil is of two types- Bhangar and Khadar.
  • Bhangar is the old and Khandar is a new type of Alluvial soils found in the Ganga plain.
  • Khader is more fertile than Bhangar. 
Laterite soil
  • Laterite soil is red residual soil found When temperatures are high and there and there is a wet and dry climate.
  • The heavy rainfall at the time of wet periods leaches silica but leaves Aluminium oxide and Iron behind.
  • It is less fertile in comparison to Alluvial soil.
  • These types of soil are found in North-Eastern India, the Western Ghats and in the Chota Nagpur Plateau. 
 
Regur or black soil
  • This soil is formed in dark igneous rocks called lava and it is rich in iron.
  • It is very good for the purpose of cotton cultivation.
  • These are found in the North-Western part of the Deccan Plateau.
Red Soil
  • Red soil is formed due to the weathering of old igneous rocks in Peninsular India.
  • Its red color is due to the high iron content in the soil.
  • These types of soils are mainly found in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu region.
  • It is also found in the north-eastern part. 
Sandy Soil
  • Sandy soil is porous and low in organic matter but it can be used for cultivation in areas where irrigation is possible. 
 
Mountain Soil
  • Mountain soil is thin and is not very much fertile; however, it is suitable for some varieties of rice.
  • These are found in the lower slopes of the Himalayas.
 
soil
soil erosion
Soil Erosion
  • The removal of the agents of gradation like running water, wind, glaciers, sea waves, currents, etc is known as soil erosion.
  • Soil is destroyed in many ways due to Over-grazing, Over-cultivation, deforestation, Improper farming techniques.
 
Causes of soil erosion

Deforestation

Overgrazing of land

Improper farming techniques

Wind and rainfall

1- Deforestation
  • It means the removal of trees and other vegetation which holds the soil together.
  • When vegetation is removed, the soil surface becomes loose and can be more easily removed by running water and wind.
 
2- Overgrazing of land
  • Overgrazing of land also leads to soil erosion.
  • In many parts of India, Hillside has become barren because of the overgrazing of land by animals. 
 
3- Improper farming techniques
  • Plowing fields in the traditional up and down Manner along the slopes makes it easier for running water and wind causes erosion. 
 
4- Wind and rainfall
  • Rainfall dissolves the chemicals in the soil and removes them to far-off places.
  • The soil gets depleted of the fertile element. The high velocity of wind also causes soil erosion. 
 

Some methods to conserve soil

  • There are a number of ways to conserve soil. Vegetation cover helps a great deal in checking soil erosion.
  • Plants not only keep the soil particles bound, but they also reduce the rate of run-off.
  • A thick cover of vegetation reduces the impact of heavy rainfall also.
  • Keeping the soil covered with crops of natural vegetation is a very effective method to check soil erosion.
  • It is said that prevention is better than cure so it should be checked at the ground level what are the causes of the erosion. 
 
1- Afforestation
  • This is a very effective measure of soil conduct conservation helps in checking soil erosion also in the richest soil by adding organic matter helps in checking the intensity and frequency of floods and helps in the conservation of water resources also. 
 
2 -Shelter belts
  • Shelterbelts in the coastal and dry region’s trees are planted in rows to check the movement of the wind to protect soil cover. 
 
3 -Contour barriers
  • Grass, stones are used to build barriers along contours to collect water Trenches are made in front of the barriers. 
 
4 -Terrace farming
  • Terrace farming is made on steep slopes so that flat surfaces are available to grow crops. They can reduce surface run-off and soil erosion also. 
 
5 – Rock dam
  • Rocks are piled up to slow down the flow of water. It prevents gullies and further soil loss.
 
6 – Mulching
  • The bare ground between plants is covered with a protective layer of organic matter like straw. It helps in retaining the soil moisture.
 
7 – Contour plowing
  • Plowing at the hill slope parallel to the contours helps in forming a natural barrier for water to flow down the slope.
 
 8 – Leave land fallow to regain fertility.
 
 9- Practice crop rotation that grows different crops in succession on the same land to preserve the fertility of the soil.
 
10 – Animal grazing should be limited to a sustainable level.

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