Discuss the different types of soils with their key distribution areas in India.

Discuss the different types of soils with their key distribution areas in India.


  • Give a brief introduction about soils.
  • Discuss various types of soils along with their distribution areas.
  • Conclude appropriately.
Model Answer :

Soil is the mixture of rock debris and organic materials which develop on the earth’s surface. The major factors affecting the formation of soil are relief, parent material, climate, vegetation and other life-forms and time. Besides these, human activities also influence it to a large extent. Components of the soil are mineral particles, humus, water and air.

Various types of soil and their distribution areas are:

  1. Alluvial soils– Alluvial soils are widespread in the northern plains and the river valleys. The alluvial soils vary in nature from sandy loam to clay. They are generally rich in potash but poor in phosphorous.
  2. Black soils- Black soil covers most of the Deccan Plateau which includes parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu. The black soils are generally clayey, deep and impermeable.
  3. Red and Yellow soils- Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern part of the Deccan Plateau. Along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghat, long stretch of area is occupied by red loamy soil. It looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.
  4. Laterite soils– The laterite soils develop in areas with high temperature and high rainfall. The laterite soils are commonly found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.
  5. Arid soils- These are generally sandy in structure and saline in nature. Arid soils develop in western Rajasthan, which exhibits characteristic arid topography.
  6. Saline soils- Saline soils contain a larger proportion of sodium, potassium and magnesium. Saline soils are more widespread in western Gujarat, deltas of the eastern coast and in Sunderban areas of West Bengal.
  7. Peaty soils– These soils are rich in humus and organic content. It occurs widely in the northern part of Bihar, southern part of Uttaranchal and the coastal areas of West Bengal, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.
  8. Forest soils– Forest soils are formed in the forest areas where sufficient rainfall is available. The soils vary in structure and texture depending on the mountain environment where they are formed.

Soil is the most important layer of the earth’s crust, and proper steps like contour bunding, contour terracing, regulated forestry, controlled grazing etc. are needed to conserve this resource.

Subjects : Geography – Resources