Short notes on Mountain Soils


Mountain soils are found in the valleys and hill slopes of the Himalayas at altitudes of 2100 m to 3000 m. These soils are least studied and often the vegetation cover helps in their classification.

These soils are generally shallow in depth and immature. The carbon nitrogen ratio is very wide. They are silty loam to loam in texture and dark brown in colour. The soil reaction is slightly acidic to moderately acidic. These soils can be divided into two broad groups: (1) Loamy Podzols, and (2) High Altitude Soils. Podzols occupy the mid-altitudinal zone in the Himalaya corresponding with the deodar, chir and blue pine areas of Assam, Darjeeling, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. The soils are acidic in character with low humus.

High altitude soils depending on the forest cover, rocks, slope and rainfall are classified as Brown Earth type, Red Loam, Rendzina, Gley etc. Sub-soil surface of the frozen areas remains under snow. Soil profiles are in general immature.

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