Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

Describe the three major soil-forming regimes.

To determine

The three major soil forming regimes.


The soil forming regimes form the soil distinctive from one another. At a broad scale of generalization, climate differences produce three primary soil forming regimes namely, laterization, podsolization, and calcification.

Laterization: Laterization is the soil forming regime that occurs in the humid tropical and sub-tropical climates with high temperatures and abundant precipitation. These temperatures allow the rapid breakdown of the rocks and deposition of minerals, which produce a soil type called laterite. This soil is rich in iron oxides and do not have O and A horizons. The minerals are mostly leached except iron and aluminum and hence the topsoil is reddish with coarse texture and porous. The B horizon is of mostly illuviated materials.

In the tropical forests, the deposited minerals are consumed by plants and they in turn return to soil and again to plants. This rapid recycle avoids the leaching of nutrients. When the nutrients are removed, the surface turns into crusts of iron and aluminum. The process of laterization operates throughout the year because of the changes in temperature and moisture of the soil in humid tropics.

Podzolization: Podzolization is associated with low temperatures where the activity of microorganisms is reduced enough so that the humus accumulates. The humus mixing below the surface is minimal because of the less number of small animals living in the soil...

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