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Soils of India


Indian soils are generally divided into four broad types. These soil types are: 1) alluvial soils; 2) regur soils; 3) red soils and 4) laterite soils.

ALLUVIAL SOILS: This is the most important and widespread category. It covers 40% of the land area. In fact the entire Northern Plains are made up of these soils. They have been brought down and deposited by three great Himalayan rivers- Sutlej, Ganga and Brahmaputra- and their tributaries. Through a narrow corridor in Rajasthan they extend into the plains of Gujarat. They are common in eastern coastal plains and in the deltas of Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri.

REGUR SOILS: These soils are black in colour and are also known as black soils. Since, they are ideal for growing cotton, they are also called cotton soils, in addition to their normal nomenclature of regur soils. These soils are most typical of the Deccan trap (Basalt) region spread over north-west Deccan plateau and are made up of lava flows. They cover the plateaus of Mahrashtra, Saurashtra, Malwa and southern Madhya Pradesh and extends eastwards in the south along the Godavari and Krishna Valleys.

RED SOILS: These soils are developed on old crystalline rocks under moderate to heavy rainfall conditions. They are deficient in phosphoric acid, organic matter and nitrogenous material. Red soils cover the eastern part of the peninsular region comprising Chhotanagpur plateau, Orissa, eastern Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, the Nilgiris and Tamil Nadu plateau. Tey extended northwards in the west along the Konkan coast of Maharashtra.

LATERITE SOILS: The laterite soils is the result of intense leaching owing to heavy tropical rains. They are found along the edge of plateau in the east covering small parts of Tamil Nadu, and Orissa and a small part of Chhotanagpur in the north and Meghalaya in the north-east.

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