Soil forms the upper layer of the earth’s crust. It is made up of humus and loose rock materials. It is an extremely important resource for agricultural purpose.

Types of soils:

Six types of major soils are found in India:

(i) Alluvial soil:


These types of soils are found in the northern Gangatic plains and in the coastal plains of south India wherever rivers flow. They are formed by the silt, gravel and sand brought down and deposited by rivers. These are highly fertile.

Alluvial soils are of two kinds:


These are found in the region where floods occur. Their fertility is maintained by fresh deposition of silt due to floods. This is also known as the finer and newer alluvial soil.



The region which is beyond the reach of flood water consists of course gravel. They are less fertile. Black soil-It abounds in. Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is formed by the deposition of lava ejected by volcanoes. It is rich in mineral contents and retains moisture for longer period.

(iii) Red soil-

This type of soil is formed through the weathering of rocks. It is red in color. This type of soil is found in southern and eastern regions of south India. Red soils are generally poor in fertility.


Laterite soil-

Laterite soils are formed by the weathering of rocks in areas of high temperatures and very heavy rainfall. They lack humus content so they are not very fertile. These types of soils are found in the western and eastern Ghats and parts of north-eastern India.

Desert soils

Desert soils are found in arid regions that receive poor supply of water such as western Rajasthan.


Mountain soils-

These types of soils are found in mountainous regions from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh and Himalayas.