After reading this article you will learn about the features and characteristics of Indian arid zone soil.
Features of Indian Arid Zone Soil:
Arid zone soils of India which extend through an area of about 2,00,000 sq. km. predominantly occupy western Rajasthan. It comprises of districts of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Shri Ganganagar, Jodhpur, Nagpur, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jalore and Pali.
Under the arid and semi-arid climate, the low rain fall ranging from 100 to 500 mm; high temperatures (40 to 45°C) and high evaporation does not permit much leaching and allviration and thus incomplete removal of certain soluble salts and redistribution and accumulation of alkaline earth carbonate is common in these soils.
The soils occurring in the hot Indian arid zone are generally from the great Indo-gangetic tract. The soils are generally alluvial and loam. Their consistency varies according to the topographical features.
Soils of Indian arid zone develop mainly under conditions of high temperature and aridity with scanty and erratic rainfall. The soils of this region are formed from almost all types of geological formations and they are either black, red, brown, yellow or grey in colour.
The predominate parent material of soil comprises mainly of:
1. The vast deposits of recent origin in the north and northwest.
2. The Aeolian deposits of pleistocene and sub-recent times in the east.
3. The pro-alluvial sheet wash deposits on piedmont apron of 1 to 3 per cent slope skirting the hills and
4. The calcareous clay deposited in depressions in the older alluvium and in the abandoned stream channels.
Basically, the alluvial soils are drift soils, though they are almost covered by a thick mantle of wind blown sand through out the arid zone.
Characteristics of Indian Arid Zone Soil:
The most common characteristic of Indian arid zone soil is poor fertility with a zone of lime strata in the sub-soil.
The soils are deep, structure-less and porous, on account of which water percolates easily and rapidly.
The soils are characterised by incomplete leaching of soluble salts, ill-defined profile development and accumulation of lime at some point in the profile.
Due to lack of moisture, weathering is mainly physical and the products of weathering remain confined mostly to the top soil.
The soil is very poor in humus contents.
It is relatively un-reproductive, both physically and biologically.
The soils are often formed in situ from the disintegration of the parent material, although some are transported and mixed through the agency of wind and water.