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Red Soil

Want to learn more about the red soil? Want to know where it is found, why its color is like that? How it is formed and so on? Then read this article which will give you all the information about the red soil.
Not all soils are brown in color; some are gray, while some are yellow in color, while some are red in color. There are different types of soil that can be found on earth today and the soil that we are going to learn about in this article is the red soil. I am sure you must have noticed this type of soil while traveling to various places. It is the soil which has got a reddish tinge in it which is due to the iron compounds present in the soil. If you want to know what is red soil, where is it found, what is the chemical properties of this soil, then this article will give you all the information. It is important that you have enough information about the soil's science before you use them either for gardening or for agricultural purpose or any other purpose.

What is this Soil

As the name suggests, soil having a reddish tinge in it, is called red soil. The reddish tinge, as I have already mentioned above, is present due to the presence of iron compounds. These iron compounds are formed as the soil starts weathering. The soil is usually formed in those places where the climate is warm and temperate and also moist. Those areas where the sedimentary rocks are rich in iron, you will find this soil. This soil, is sometimes bad news for the farmers as it is not rich in nutrients. And the level of iron oxides and humus present in it is also a reason why this soil is not good news for farmers. In order to improve the quality of the soil, several organic compounds are needed to be added or some other soil which is rich in nutrients can be mixed with the soil in order to improve the nutrient value of the soil. This soil is generally formed under the deciduous forest covers.

Chemical Properties

The main chemical compound present is responsible for the red color of the soil is iron. When this iron reacts with oxygen, they form two oxides; ferrous oxide which has one atom of iron and oxygen each, and ferric oxide which has two atoms of iron and 3 atoms of oxygen, and this is the chemical that the soil is rich in. Constant weathering, specially in humid climate, washes away the rest of the chemicals leaving behind only the ferric oxide, which is highly insoluble in water. The various other nutrients which are present in the soil are potassium, and calcium. This soil is low in minerals hence they are not suitable for agricultural purposes.

The presence of this soil in a particular area shows that the area has been witnessing weathering for a long period of time. It gives us a lot of information about the climate as well as the environment of that particular area. This soil, though not that good for gardening or agricultural purposes, however, specially the red clay soil, can be used to make beautiful ceramic pots and pans. Some other soil can be mixed with this and it can be used either to make bricks or for various other building purposes. The soil is mainly found in the country of India as the climate there is suitable for the formation of red soil. You can use this soil in your garden provided you mix some other nutrient rich soil in order to make up for the loss.
By Ratnashri Dutta
Published: 12/28/2010
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