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Alluvial soils
Nature of Soil
The alluvial soils are of many shades depending upon depth, (deep and shallow), deposition conditions (coarse and finer) and time (older and recent). In the western Ganga plains, Punjab and Haryana, the quantity of loam and clay loam increases while in the middle Ganga plain sand decreases and loam increases.In Punjab and other plains, the excess of irrigation has made the soils waterlogged and saline crusts have been formed. This has also caused the formation of heavy soils in low lying areas.In the eastern parts finer particles predominate and loams and fine silty clay are formed. Due to heavy rainfall, the alluvial soils have been lateraled. In the river valley plain of northern India floods result in deposition of silt. This new alluvium is known as Khadar. The higher areas, where floods do not reach has old alluvium and is known as Bangar. Under the bangar deposits, beds of lime modules are found and are known as Kankar and these are usually found in Haryana and are a good source of raw material for cement plants.Along the coast of the Peninsula, where sea water enters the delta, saltish soils are the result. The salt encrustations in Kutchch (Gujarat) shine with a glaze on sunny days.In the north-west, the drier parts draw sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. from the depth and create a powdery layer on the top of the soil because of evaporation of water.This layer is called Reh (Kallar). No vegetation grows on the Kallar land.Alluvial soils arc found in two different and distinct regions in India:
(i) Northern Plains.The whole of the northern plains; from Punjab, Haryana, U.P., Bihar to West Bengal arc included in this region. The river courses and the deltas form alluvial soil regime. (ii)Southern coastal area
Starting from the Eastern Coast along a narrow belt passing through the flood plains, terraces, deltaic and lagoon areas of the rivers like the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, etc.Narrow areas along the coast and lower portions of the Narmada, the Tapti, the Sabarmati and the Mahi also have such type of soils.The alluvial soils are fertile and are responsible for making the northern plains, the granary of India. Agricultural activities and crop productivity are attributed to these soils.
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