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Characterization, genesis, and classification of rice soils of Eastern Region of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

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Agropedology 2005, 15 (I) 29- 38
Characterization, genesis and classification of rice
soils of Eastern Region ofVaranasi, Uttar Pradesh
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Institute of Agricultural
Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, varanasi
221 005,
Abstract: Rice growing soils of eastern
have developed from the Quaternary Gangetic
alluvium of the Holocene period into very deep, well to imperfectly drained soils with strong
horizon differentiation. These soils showed clay illuviation. Micromorphological study of
thin sections of Bt horizons of pedons
and 3 showed that there was a moderate plasma
separation along voids and grains. The CEC values were low to medium and consistent with
clay fractions dominated by the illite and kaolinite minerals. The dominant basic cation was
Ca which influenced the development of the soil. The pedons I and 3 were classified as
Typic Hapludalfs whereas
2 as Dystric Eutrudepts and
pedon 4
as Typic Ustifluvents.
Additional key words:
Alluvial parent material, mineralogy. alkalization.
Rice is an important staple food crop of tropical
andsubtropical climatic regions. In eastern India. rice is
dominantly grown as rainfed
crop with the onset of
south-west monsoon. Due to variation in physiography, the
studyarea has all three types of rice cultivation,
rice,mid-upland rice and lowland rice. Rice has got a potential
togrow in various types of soils and under a wide range of
climatic conditions. The wide variety of ecological
conditions under which rice is growing is matched by the
diversity of soils which support this crop, so that in reality
there is probably no such thing as a 'rice soil'. The natural
drainagevaries from good to poor. The parent materials range
fromrecent alluvium to well weathered residual materials in
upland sites. Soil texture varies from heavy clay to sand;
organic matter from less than I % to more than 50%; salt
content from near 0 to I%; and pH from less than 3 to more
than 10 (De Datta 1981). Thus it is likely that the crop can
alsobe grown under various soil water regimes. which vary
from near saturation to about 10-50 ern of standing water
(Mandai 1984). The continuous submergence of soil causes
changes in physical and chemical characteristics of the soi Is
and these changes are distinctly different from those of
mid-upland and upland rice growing soils (Mandai 1984)_
Puddling in rice growing soils affects physical properties of
soil. This results in breaking the natural larger aggregates
into finer ones, with considerable expenditure of energy
(Ghildyal 1978). The bulk density is decreased. the capillary
pore space is destroyed and hydraulic conductivity is
reduced, as is the free percolation of water. Soil aeration is
minimised in the major upper tilled layers of the soil. Sharma
and De Datta (1985, 1986) also reported the drastic changes
in pore- size distribution of the soil as a result of pudclling.
Information on characterization of rice growing soils of U.P.
is available in literature but only sporadic attempts (Agarwal
and Mehrotra 1952-; Agarwal 1961; Shankarnarayana and
Hirekerur 1972 and Singh
et al,
1989) have been made to
classify such soils using Soil Taxonomy. In view of the above
facts, the present investigation was undertaken in part of
Uttar Pradesh India to unclerstandthe characteristics
and genesis of the soil in relation to physiography and
distance from the river flowing in the region.
(Soil Physics and SWC). CIAH Beechwal, Bikaner 334 006, India.
Materials and Methods
The study area lies between 25° 10' and 25° 30'
North latitudes and between 83° 0' and 83° 30' East
longitudes covering part of Chandauli (erstwhile Varanasi)
district of eastern Uttar pradesh. The area has a semi-arid
and subtropical monsoonic type climate with a mean annual
rainfall of 1060 rnrn. The mean annual summer and winter
temperatures are 32° and 19.3°C respectively. The temperature
regime of the area is
whereas the moisture
regime is
Four observations were made which are
representative of the selected landforms in village; Dhanapur
(PI), Shahjaur (P,), Sakaldiha (P3), and Hardhanjura (P4).
Morphometric observations were made as per Soil Survey
Division staff 1995; I.A.R.I. Manual 1970). The soils were
analysed for their physical and chemical properties following
methods described by (Black 1965; Jackson 1950). Separation
of clay and chemical composition of soils (MgO, CaO, SiO"
Rpv Fep) was determined according to Jackson (1950,
56). Elemental analysis of the soil was done by fusing the
soils with anhydrous sodium carbonate (Jackson 1967). XRD
study of whole clay of the PI and P
pedons for the identification
of layer silicates was done according to the procedures
outlined by Jackson (1979). Micromorphological investigations
were carried out at National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land
Use Planning, Nagpur for the selected B horizons of PI and
Po pedons. The thin sections were prepared following
methods described by Jongerius and Heintzberger (1963).
Description of the plasmic fabrics was done as per the
terminology of Brewer (1964) and Bullock
et al.
(1985). These
soils were classified according to Keys to Soil Taxonomy
(Soil Survey Staff 1998).
Table 1. Site characteristics of rice growing soils
I.S. Singh and H.P. Agrawal
Results and Discussion
The soils of P: were relatively yellower (5Y 6/2)
than those of pedons PI, p, and P4. The slightly redder hue
(1OYR 5/2) was dominant in PI.The exclusively rice growing
soils (PI, P2 and PJ), in general, had chroma of 2 in their
surface horizons, which were indicative of localized anaerobic
(anthraquic) conditions (Sawhney and Sehgal 1989). The
upland rice soils (P.) had chrornas up to 4 suggesting
non-aquic conditions in the surface horizons. The redder
hue in case of PI, P2 and PJ soils might be attributed to the
ferruginous nature of alluminiurn / prolong redoxirnorphic
conditions. Intense mottlings were observed in all the
profiles except P4 because of water logging owing to their
lower physiographical positions in comparison to P4(Table I).
Soil structures were dominantly moderately developed,
medium to coarse subangular blocky types, most likely as a
result of the lower clay contents and the dominance of the
bivalent Ca
and Mg
cations over the monovalent ions on
the exchange complex, which had resulted in the soils being
well flocculated. The soils were friable (moist) due to low to
medium clay contents and this was attributed to good
aggregation of the soil particles. Fe and Mn concretions
were present in PI, P2and P
soils whereas calcretes were
present in significant amount in PI and p, (Table 2).
The physical properties of these soi Is showed
an uneven distribution of mechanical separates which
may be clue to different depositional environment of the
sediments. Bulk density increased with depth for all the
soils (Table 3). The lowest density was observed in Ap
horizons which may be due to the effect of organic matter.
;:r- ;:r-
0. V
:; '0
(1) (1)
'lable 2_ Morphological characteristics of the soils
Veplh (m) Horizon Boundary Colour Moltle Texture Structure Fe-Mn Calcretes
matrix colour Co nc r e t
o n s
Pedon I: Fine-Ioamy, mixcd, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalfs
O.O-O.IS Ap cs IOYRS/2 scl
0.IS-0.40 2A2 gs IOYRS/2 el 1112
3Btl gs IOYRS/3 flf 7.SYR6/8
1113 sbk f f 111f vf fcs
.60-0.8S 3Bt2 gs IOYR3/3 c2d 7.5YR6/6 el c3 sbk 111111 111f cs
.8S-I.OS 3Bt3 gs IOYR313 e2d 7.SYR6/6 cl 1112 sbk 111111 f f cs
sg ff c
Pedon 2: Fine-loam)', mixed, Hyperthermic Dystr!c Eutrudepts
0.0-0.20 Ap cs SY 5/2 scl 1112shk
0.20-0.65 2A2 gs 5Y 6/2 mlf2.5YR4/4 scl 1112 sbk fill fc
f2f 2.SYR 3/4 scl 1112 sbk ff
0.8S-I.20 2Bw2
2.SY 5/4 f1d 2.SYR 3/4 scl c2 sbk ff
1.20-I.S5 2Bw3 2.5Y 5/4 1112d 2.SYR 3/4 scl e3
vf f
Fine-loamy, mixed, Hyperthermic Typic
O.O-O.IS Ap cs 2.5Y 4/2 Ifl gr 111111
0.IS-O.4S Bt gs 2.SY 5/4 f1d 2.SYR 4/4 scl fI sbk vf f ff e
Btl gs 2.SY 5/4 f1d 2.SYR 3/4 scl 1111
vf f e
0.80-1.20 Bt2
2.5Y 5/4 eld 2.SYR 3/4 I 1112
f f
1.20-1.60 2Bt3 2.5Y 5/4 e2d 2.5YR 3/4 scl 1112 sbk e c
Pedon 4: Course-loamy, mixed, Hyperthermic Typic Ustiftuvents
O.O-O.IS Ap cs 2.5Y 4/4 sl f
1.15-0.-10 ACI
lAO-O.75 AC2 ds 2.5Y 5/4
fgr vf f cs
.75-1.05 AO ds 2.5Y 5/-1 sl fgr vf fcs
.05-1.35 AC4 ds 2.5Y 5/4 sl f gr
1.35-1.55 AC5 2.5Y 6/-1 S
() s~
Abbreviations as per
Soil SlIn'~Y
(Soil Survey
Slaff 1951)
32 I.S. Singh and
Mechnical composition of soil (per cent on oven dry basis)
Depth Coarse Fine Silt Clay Texture Sandi Sandi Silt! Bulk
sand sand silt clay clay density
(%) -
ratio ratio ratio (Mg m')
Pedon 1 : Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalfs
0.0-0.15 0.3 50.5 24.2 25.0 scl 2.09 2.03 0.96
0.15-0.40 0.1 41.6 30.3 28.0
1.37 1.48 1.08 1.45
0.40-0.60 44.2 23.3 32.5 cl 1.89 1.36 0.71
0.60-0.85 45.6 21.8 32.6 cl 2.09 1.39 0.66 1.53
0.85-1.05 45.5 21.3 33.2 cl 2.13 1.37 0.64 1.57
1.05-1.50 1.5 72.5 18.5 7.5
4.00 9.86 2.46 1.61
Pedon 2: Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Dystric Eutrudepts
0.0-0.20 1.3 52.0 23.0 23.7 scl 2.31 2.24 0.97 1.38
0.20-0.65 0.8 48.0 25.3 25.9 scl 1.92 1.88 0.97 1.42
0.65-0.85 45.4 27.3 27.3 scl 1.66 1.66 1.00 1.49
0.85-1.20 46.5 27.5 26.0 scl 1.69 1.78 1.05 1.52
1.20-1.55 47.2 27.6 25.2 scl 1.71 1.87 1.09 1.55
Pedon 3 : Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalfs
0.0-0.15 0.0 49.1 30.6 20.3
1.60 2.41 1.50 1.35
0.15-0.45 0.0 46.0 27.4 26.6 scl 1.68 1.72 1.03 1.36
0.45-0.80 0.0 47.1 25.7 27.2 scl 1.83 1.73 0.94 1.41
0.80-1.20 0.0 44.5 30.5 25.0 1.45 1.78 1.22 1.45
1.20-1.60 0.0 47.4 25.1 27.5 scl 1.88 1.72 0.91 1.47
Pedon 4: Coarse-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Ustifluvents
0.0-0.15 3.5 54.5 30.0 12.0 sl 1.93 4.83 2.50 1.48
0.15-0.40 1.8 57.2 27.9 13.1 sl 2.11 4.50 2.12 1.55
0.40-0.75 1.6 57.3 30.0
sl 1.96 5.25 2.70 1.57
0.75-1.05 1.5 56.4 31.8 10.1 sl 1.82 5.75 3.14 1.58
1.05-1.35 2.5 59.7 30.7 7.1
2.02 8.76 4.32 1.63
1.35-1.55 5.0 81.1 8.9 5.0 s9.67 17.22 1.78 1.65
The increase in bulk density with depth was attributed to
lower organic matter, more compaction and less
aggregation. The silt contents
the soils were
relatively high, ranging from 20-34 per cent. The clay
content (5.0 to 33.2%) varied widely and in general, increased
with depth. This may be due to abrupt change in sand/silt
ratio between the horizons. Abrupt increase in clay content
in B horizon of
without any sign of argillic horizon was
indicative of lessivage. Lower silt/clay ratio, especially in B
horizons of
suggests that most of the primary
minerals had been transformed to clay-sized secondary
minerals since silt/clay ratio reflects the ratio of primary to
secondary minerals. The abrupt change in the sand/silt
and sand/clay in lower most horizons of
lithologic discontinuity (Sidhu et al . 1976). These soi Is were
low in organic carbon content due to high rate of
decomposition of organic matter under the subtropical
conditions.Organic carbon content decreased down the depth
in all the pedons except P. where its distribution was irregular.
The organic carbon varied from 3.30 g kg' to 7.65 g kg' in
. I
. surface layers. Generally surface soils were rich in
ic carbon (Ponnamperuma 1972). These soils were
Iralto moderately alkaline in reaction (pH 7.1 to 8.3), low
[8.2 to 20.2 cmol (p+) kg'] but high in base status
,0to99.0%). The higher pH of P, might be ascribed to the
content of free calcium carbonate (Table 4). The
trical conductivity of all soils were very low. Irregular
tribution of CaCO) with depth may be attributed to
erential dissolution by CO
rich water which is moderated
physiography, rising and receding water table and
inageconditions. Ca was the most dominant exchangeable
ble 4. Chemical characteristics of the soils
cations followed by Mg, Na and K (Table 4). Exchangeable
Ca and Mg in all the soils showed higher accumulation in
the subsurface horizons. Relatively high exchangeable Ca-'
and Mg+2 in the lower layers might be due to the deposition of
calcitic or dolomitic parent materials carried by the ri vel'
during fluvial cycle in the past (Walia and Charnuah 1994).
The morphological, physical and chemical properties
of pedons (Table I and 2) indicated marked differences in
soil genesis. However, all the pedons developed over similar
parent material and climatic condition but dissimilar
topography. Pedon P4 did not show distinct horizonation
(g kg:')
cmol (p+) kg'!
Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalls
.0.0-0.IS 7.4 0.09 3.85 6J 6J OJ 0.9 15.5 87.7
O.1S-O.4D 7.5 OJ6 3.00 7J 5.9 0.4 0.5 15.6
6.4 0.5 0.5 16J 90.8
" 0.4M.60 7.4 OJ7 l.98 7.4
. 0.ffi.O.8S 7.7 0.42 l.89 8.0 5.6 0.4 0.4 15.5 93.0
0.8S-I.OS 7.6 0.45 l.80 8.1 5.6 0.6 0.6 17.0 87.6
.1.0S-I.S0 7.7 0.43 l.80 8.1 3.1 0.7 0.5 14.0 88.5
Pedon 2: Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Dystric Eutrudepts
.0.0-0.20 7.1 OJO 5.56 8.6 4.1 0.1 l.2 17.5 80.0
0.20-0.6S 7.1 0.41 5.00 9.7 6.0 0.2 0.8 19.7 84.8
0.6S-O.8S 7.2 .0.44 3.21 10.7 5.8 0.5 0.4 20.2 86.1
0.8S-1.20 7.4 OJ5 2.85 11.3 3.9 0.6 0.5 18.5 88.1
1.20-l.S5 7.5 OJ8 2.60 1l.4 4.0 0.6 0.5 18.5 89.2
Pedon 3 : Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalfs
0.0-0.15 7J 0.14 7.65 9.1 5.5 0.4 OJ 16.8 91.0
0.1S-O.45 7.6 0.15 5.40 10.5 6J OJ OJ 18.6 93.5
0.4S-O.80 7.6 0.16 3.19 10.8 4.1 0.2 0.4 16.6 93.4
0.80-1.20 7.7 0.15 3.15 11.3 4.1 0.1 0.4 17.9 94.4
1.20-l.60 7.8 0.17 2.05 12.1 5.0 0.1 0.4 18.4 95.6
Pedon 4 : Coarse-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Ustitluvents
0.0-0.15 8.0 0.15 3JO 5.8 2.0 0.5 0.2 10.1 84.1
O.IS-O.4D 8.2 0.16 3.26 5.6 3.5 0.3 0.5 10.0 99.0
0.4M.75 8.2 0.15 2.42 5.7 3.6 0.7 OJ 11.3 91.1
0.7S-I.05 8.1 0.18 2.56 5.7 4.1 0.8 OJ IJ.3 %.4
"1.0S-1.35 8.1 0.20 2.00 6.2 3.6 0.8 0.3 11.2 97.3
1.3S-1.55 8J 0.22 2.25 4.1 2.1 0.7 0.2 8.2 86.5
due to alternate washing and deposition of newer alluvium.
On the other hand, pedons
2 and 3 reflected more or less
well developed characters vit;.,
of clay. Chemical
composition of the soils of PI, P2 and P3 (except P4) showed
fairly high Si0
and SiO/Alp3and SiO/RP3 molar ratios in
surface soils (Table 5). This indicates less siliceous substratum
and thereby advanced stage of pedogenic development
(Singh and Mishra 1994). Sudden change in sand/silt and
sand/clay ratios of two lower most horizons of pedon land 4
was indicative of lithological discontinuities due to stratified
nature of parent materials in the profile. The alumina content
was negatively correlated with Si0
and sand content
I.S. Singh and
and the finding was similar to Choudhari (198i\). The depth
function of CaO and MgO were not clear. It was noticed
that in majority of the soils, their contents decreased in
horizons next to the Ap and A2 horizons but increased in
the lower most horizons. Maximum content
KzO was
observed in Bt horizons of PI and
which may be
higher amount of
mica. The silica content tended
to decrease in Bw and
horizons because of illuviation
(Walia and
1996). This was also reflected in the
decrease of molar ratios of
Sial /
AIP3 and SiO) RP3
down the profile for PI, P2 and P3.
Chemical composition of the soils (per cent on oven dry basis)
Depth(m) Si0
~O SiO/R
Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalls
0.0-0.15 78.2 5.0 2.6 7.6 1.0 0.4 0.9 19.96 26.59
0.15-0.40 7103 7.1 2.7 9.8 0.9 0.6 l.l 13.73 17.07
0.40-0.60 72.4 9.8 2.5 1203 1.3 0.5 1.6 10.80 12.56
0.60-0.85 74.5 10.1 2.8 12.9 3.4 0.6 203 10.65 12.54
0.85-1.05 74.2 10.9 3.1 14.0 4.6 0.6 2.4 9.79 11.57
1.05-1.50 80.0 4.5 1.3 5.8 6.5 0.6 0.5 25.51 30.22
Pedon 2 : Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Dystric Eutrudepts
0.0-0.20 75.0 12.5 2.6 15.1 2.1 203 0.8 9.00 10.20
0.20-0.65 73.5 12.2 3.0 15.2 2.2 2.4 1.0 8.85 10.24
0.65-0.85 7203 11.8 3.1 14.9 2.1 1.2 l.l 8.92 10.42
0.85-1.20 70.1 14.2 3.0 17.2 2.6 l.l l.l 7.39
1.20-1.55 54.4 19.0 3.0 22.0 2.9 1.2 l.l 4.42 4JP
Pedon 3: Fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalfs
0.0-0.15 84.0 9.8 4.5 1403 1.8 0.5 1.7 11.27 14.57
0.15-0.45 82.6 11.0 2.6 13.6 1.6 0.8 1.6 I
0.45-0.80 75.6 15.4 4.6 20.0 2.6 0.7 203 7.01 8.35
0.80-1.20 73.2 16.5 4.8 2103 1.5 0.8 2.2 6036 7.54
1.20-1.60 66.5 16.8 5.2 22.0 2.5 0.8 203 5.62 6.73
, J
Pedon 4: Coarse-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Ustilluvents
0.0-0.15 84.2 8.8 0.6 9.4 2.4 0.2 0.5 15.59 16.27
0.15-0.40 81.5 9.8 0.7 10.5 2.4
0.5 13.54 14.16
0.40-0.75 75.0 7.5 1.2 8.7 2.5 0.6
15.42 17.00
0.75-1.05 70.2 7.4 1.2 8.6 2.6 0.1
14.62 16.13
1.05-1035 7803 5.6 103 6.9 3.9 0.4
20.71 23.78
1035-1.55 80.2 4.6 J.3 5.9 3.8 0.4
25.11 29.6:1
.. J
I 6
I •
X-ray diffraction analysis indicated the presence
ofilliteas the dominant clay mineral followed by kaolin (Fig.
1&2). Singh et al. (1991) also found illite as the dominant
mineral in the alluvial soils of the Varanasi district of
easternUttar Pradesh. They also reported that some of the
soilshad small amounts of kaolin. Sand mineralogy also
indicatedthe dominance of mica and quartz. Thin sections
of P3showedmoderately developed subangular blocky structure
withchannels and vughs micro-structure. Plasma separation
wasweak to undiffemtiated (Fig. 6). 1-2% of mottles and Fe/
Mn concretions were observed under thin section of PI
(Fig.5).Moderate plasma separation along voids and grains
wasrecorded under thin section of soils of PI (Fig. 4). Their
distribution pattern was porphyric and pedogenic
were in the range of 2-3 per cent which
occurredas discrete nodules. The clay oriented around the
skeletongrains probably created congenial conditions for the
_______________ n~ _
loll I..J5
28 26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10
2·2 8 -------------------
Fig. 1. Representative X-ray diffractograms of the total
clay fractions
«2 £IV
of the soils. M = Mica,
K= Kaolinite ofPedon 1.
retention of moisture in the pedon (Venugopal et at.
The presence of suppressed argillans (Fig. 3) in Pi was an
indication of submergence of field for longer time.
Soil genesis
The contents of AlP3' Fe.O, and K
0 were very
low in the recently deposited river sands of P3. Generally
soil forming processes lead to addition, losses, translocation
and transformation of various clements. Although all pedons
developed over similar parent material and under similar
climatic conditions, nevertheless their rate and state of
weathering was quite different. Total chemical analysis (Table 5)
indicated that CaO, MgO and Kp contents constituted less
than 5 per cent of the soil mass which reflected in moderate
weathering conditions (Gupta and Tripathi 1993). The Polsoils
did not show much horizonation which was due to its
youthful nature. The soils of PI, P2 and P, were more
__-- n~--- _
)0 2t 26 24 22 20 IB 16 II. 12 10
2·2 8 -------------------
Fig. 2. Representative X-ray diffractograms of the total
clay fractions
n~of the soils. M = Mica,
K = Kaolinite ofPedon 3.
Fig: 3 Showing presence of suppressed argilans (X40)
Fig: 5 Showing presence of pedogenic CaC03in the
aggregated ferriargilans (X40)
weathered than P4 because of their location in mid-upland
and lowland topographical situation where water works
for a longer duration, accelerating the leaching of clay and
translocation of Alp) and Fe.O, . It was also observed that
stratification was maximum nearby the river but pedogenesis
was maximum away from the river. Fine sand mineralogy
showed the dominance of quartz followed by biotite,
muscovite and feldspars. Relatively high quartz content in
these soils could be due to granite gneissof the Himalayan
origin (Pettijohn 1957). Primary minerals were almost
common in these soils suggesting similarity in parent
material. As these soils were derived from alluvium of the
Indo-Gangetic plains, originating from the Himalayas,
quartzite, sandstone, slate, limestone, schists and
conglomerate were the chief rock types observed (Bhargava
and Sharma 1982). Some of the transparent heavy minerals
identified were anatase, zircon and tourmaline. These soils
I.S. Singh and
Fig: 6 Showing presence of pedogenic CaCO) (X40)
appeared to have developed from pre-existing sediments
(Pettijohn 1969). Majority of these quartz grains appeared as
rounded one indicating that these have formed on
transported materials. Direct conversion of mica (Oekimpe
and Tardy 1969) to kaolinite may be one of the causes of
substantial quantity of kaolinite in these soils, although
condition did not support kaolinite genesis.
exhibited lithologic discontinuity between Bt2 and Bt3 horizons
because of the abrupt change in sand/silt ratio. These soils
were mainly derived from sedimentary rocks such as shale.
This is evident from dominant proportions of mica in these
soils and neutral rock weathering and soil forming processes
may have favoured the concentration of mica in clay fraction
of these soils (Reichenback et al. 1975). Little or no pedogenic
processes were evident in the P4 soils as there was no plasma
separation or movement of clay. Sand was present in the
highest amount in this pedon. Pedogenic carbonates in the
and I
of nodules (1%) but mainly as micrite crystals in the
undmass appeared in the thin section of PI and p) soils.
reover, the occurrence of carbonate concretion in the
bsurface of the soils was indicative of translocation. The
er observed features indicated that the soils of PI and P3
perienced lessivage, illuviation and calcification which
ere the dominant soil forming processes active in these soils.
The diagnostic criteria for classification of PI, P2
dP, according to the USDA Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey
taff 1998) include an udic soil moisture regime and an
yperthermic soil temperature regime chracteristic of semi
id to subhumid subtropical monsoonic climate. Absence
diagnostic sub-surface horizons in
qualified it to be
p'~'d under the order Entisols. In essence, its properties of
a ustic soil moisture regime and irregular distribution of
organic carbon, the value of which is more than 0.2 per cent
t a depth of 125cm, qualified it for the great group
Ustifluvents. Since the soils did not have chracteristic of
of the subgroup recognized, it keyed out to the
suborder Typic Ustifluvents and at family level as
coarse-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic. Typic Ustifluvents. PI
andP, were characterized by ochric epipedons and argillic B
horizons, whereas, P
had a cambic B horizon and ochric
epipedon. Base saturation was high, generally above 80%.
The clay mineralogy of the soils was dominated by illite
followed by kaolinite. Such base saturated soils of PI and P
weretherefore, classified at the family level of as fine-loamy,
mixed, hyperthermic Typic Hapludalfs: whereas, P
qualified as fine-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic, Dystric
as the particular pedon did not have free
carbonates throughout the horizon beginning from 85 em
depth which is within 100 ern of the mineral surface.
Moreover, P
soils did not have any sulfuric horizon, duripan
orfragipan but had more than 60% base saturation In all the
Based on morphological, physical, chemical and
mineralogical data these soi Is were placed under three
orders, Alfisols, Inceptisols and Entisols. Thin sections of
Bthorizons of PI and P, showed argillans and argiferrans
along with irregular voids. Illuviation, lessivage and
calcification were the dominant soil forming processes in PI
and P, soils. The farmers may be advised to follow
intermittent rice cultivation practices to reduce the rising
concentration of Fe- Mn in the solum of the soils. The data
generated from this study may be helpful for the decision-
makers in framing the standard cultivation measures for
enhancing the productivity of rice soils of this region.
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Soil Work in V.P. Vol. II.,
Supdt. Printing and
Stationery, U.P., Allahabad.
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Received December 2003; Accepted, February 2005
... An increase in the bulk density with depth was observed in pedon P3 on the lower plateau; the irregular pattern was observed in pedon P2 on the upper plateau and P4 on the valley, while subsurface has a lower bulk density in pedon P1 on the denudational low hill. An increase in the soil bulk density in the lower depth of soil profile was due to the low organic matter content and compaction from the pressure of upper layers (Singh and Agrawal, 2005). Soil reaction (pH 1:2.5 soil:water ratio) of the pedons layer and decreased to 0.11, 0.04 and 0.12 %, respectively in 90-150 cm soil depth. ...
Full-text available
Assessment of organic carbon fractions in soil provides the basis to ascertain vulnerability of an ecosystem to climate change. In the present study, we assessed SOC fractions in four pedons under contrasting landforms i.e., denudational low hill, upper plateau, lower plateau and valley in the Meghalaya plateau, India. Results indicated that soils of the studied pedons were acidic in nature, low in cation exchange capacity and base saturation. Further, surface (0-30 cm) soils were high in Walkley Black C (WBC) content (0.83-1.13%) in the studied pedons located under different landforms. The density of very labile carbon (VLC) fraction up to a depth of 150 cm was highest (49.22 Mg ha?1) in pedon 2 (P2) located in the upper plateau under shifting cultivation while that of less labile carbon (LLC) was highest (50.25 Mg ha?1) in pedon 4 (P4) in the valley under paddy cultivation. Higher densities of WBC and LLC in the valley (P4) as compared to other landforms in the study area indicate higher carbon sequestration potential of valley soil.
... Puddled rice soils lead to several non-permanent changes in the surface. The mechanical impact on soil aggregates caused partial or complete destruction due to ions movement and colloid swelling phenomena and reducing macropores, which has increased the micro-porosity, and WHC of the soils (Singh and Agrawal 2005). ...
Full-text available
Rice cultivation widely distributed in Southeast Asia on gently sloping coastal plains with different toposequences and elevation. These toposequences, slope differences primarily due to differentiation in soil development and water movement are key to rice production. Understanding soil variables under rice cultivation along the different toposequence models in coastal systems is rarely an attempt toward sustainable crop productivity. With the objectives of investigating variation in soil properties under rice cultivation along the toposequences in the eastern coastal part of Odisha, five soil series representing alluvial (old and young), colluvium, and coastal plain (plain and shore) toposequences were studied that are classified into two soil orders viz. Inceptisols (P1, P2, P4, and P5) and Vertisols (P3). The soils are deep to very deep, poor to moderately well-drained, color varied from brown to dark gray. The clay content varied from 12.6 to 81.4%. High clay content (> 60%) was observed in subsoils of colluvium (P3) and young alluvial plain (P2). Soil reaction varied from slightly acidic to moderately alkaline (pH 6.2–9.4) and electrical conductivity (EC) was ranging from 0.23 to 5.60 dS m−1. OC content was low to high (0.12–1.13%) and CEC and base saturation (BS) ranged from 4.9 to 37.1 cmol (p+) kg−1 and 73–95%, respectively. Rice soils suffer from different nutrient deficiencies (N, P, and Zn) and toxicities (Fe, Mn, and Cu) in different root zone depths in slope position. Variation in rice yield was highly significant with clay content, CEC, and negatively correlated with EC, Exchangeable sodium, and ESP. Linear regression of rice yield with soil properties R2 values varied from 0.29 (ESP) to 0.40 (CEC). Water movement and alternate wet and dry rice cultivation systems impact clay deposition, anion, and cation movement along the toposequence. Moreover, OC and K were increased down the slope on the coastal plain than alluvial soils. Conceptual toposequence model exhibition of the landscape is key to find major soils at the family level and crop response in the coastal systems. Thus, adopting site-specific or soil-based suitable management practices can improve the productivity of rice crops.
... It was attributed to the pressure of the overlying horizons and diminishing amounts of organic matter. Similar results were quoted by Marathe et al. (2003) in mandarin orchards of Nagpur and in rice soils of eastern region of Varanasi (Singh and Agrawal, 2005). ...
Full-text available
A study was undertaken to characterize and classify the soil resources of Balapurmicro-watershed in Koppal district of Karnataka. Seventeen profiles were studied for the morphological, physical and chemical properties. Ten representative pedons covering all the soil types were selected and classified. The soils were very shallow to deep in depth, dark reddish brown to yellowish red in red soils, where as in black soils shown very dark brown to very dark grey brown in colour. Soils under the study were predominantly sub-angular blocky in structure, sandy clay to clay in texture, neutral to slightly alkaline in reaction with non-saline soils and organic carbon content was low. Calcium and magnesium were the dominant exchangeable cations followed by sodium and potassium. Soils studied were classified up to family level according to revisions in Soil Taxonomy using morphological, physical and chemical properties. Major proportion of the soils in the micro-watershed belonged to the order Inceptisols, Alfisols and Vertisols.
... The bulk density of different soil series varied from 1.26 to 1.50 Mg m -3 and showed an increasing trend with down the depth of soil which might be due to more compact on, low organic matter and less aggregation. Similar findings were reported by Singh and Agrawal (2005). ...
Full-text available
The agro-eco-sub region (AESR) 4.2 encompasses Aravalli foot hills, central Rajasthan plains and adjoining areas. Visual interpretation of geo-coded satellite data (IRS-P6, LISS IV MX) on the same scale was done before starting the field work and identified five landforms such as moderately sloping subdued hills, gently sloping to undulating land (Pediments), upland, nearly level to gently sloping plain and nearly level to very gently sloping lands were delineated subject to inventorization, assessment of suitability and suggested land use options. Based on the interpretative units a high intensity detailed soil survey was carried out in cluster of ten villages of Bhadesar tehsil on cadastral map (1:4000 scale) and the soils were characterized with respect to landforms. In all, fourteen soil series were recognized and mapped into 29 mapping units using GIS techniques. The soils were characterized, classified and assessed for their fertility status, suitability for different crops and suggested alternate land use options. The soil map for each village has been finalized in the field itself after thorough checking of soil and site characteristics and correlation studies. The soil maps were prepared with village boundary showing digitized soil mapping units (phases of soil series) delineated in the cluster of 10 villages. After the analysis of soil samples, data were processed in GIS environment using Arc GIS 10.3 and thematic maps were generated on 1: 100000 scale for soil resource information.
... The yellowish brown mottles with jarosite nodules were found in the Northern bank of river. The reddish brown mottles (Singh and Agarwal, 2005) [12] and micaceous coatings were seen in the lower banks of river basin. ...
... The yellowish brown mottles with jarosite nodules were found in the Northern bank of river. The reddish brown mottles (Singh and Agarwal, 2005) [12] and micaceous coatings were seen in the lower banks of river basin. ...
Full-text available
The study was carried out in the three new research stations of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University with varied soil types viz., Maize Research Station, Vagarai of Dindigul district, Cotton Research Station, Veppanthatai of Perambalur district and Dryland Agricultural Research Station, Chettinad of Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu were selected for developing the strong soil resource database for proper appraisal of their productivity potential and their rational use. This study was an embodiment with an objective of characterizing and evaluating the soils, the land use pattern, prepare thematic maps using GIS tools and to evaluate accuracy and predictability of soil parameters derived by hyperspectral remote sensing. Based on the morphological characteristics and land elevation, three geo-referenced pedons were selected at Maize Research Station,Vagarai, two pedons at Cotton Research Station, Veppanthattai and eight pedons at Dryland Agricultural Research Station, Chettinad. Horizon wise soil samples were collected from the representative thirteen pedons for laboratory analysis. Simultaneously field wise geo-referenced surface and subsurface soil samples (0-15 cm and 15-30 cm depth) numbering two hundred and fifty two were collected. The study area was confined to semi-arid climate with well-defined dry and wet periods. The red soil pedons of MRS, Vagarai were developed on weathered granite-gneiss parent material at gently sloping lands. The red laterite soils pedons of DARS, Chettinad were developed on weathered granite-gneiss over laterite parent material at gently sloping lands to moderately steep sloping lands whereas the black soils of CRS, Veppanthattai were formed at nearly level or plain topography on granitic gneiss parent material mixed with calcareous murram. The red soil pedons were relatively more weathered than black soil pedons. The soil colour of MRS, Vagarai had varying from dark reddish brown to reddish brown, the black soils of CRS, Veppanthattai had colour varying from very dark gray to dark grayish brown under dry and moist condition respectively. The soil colour varying from dark red to light reddish brown under dry condition and dark reddish brown to light reddish brown under moist condition in red laterite soils of DARS, Chettinad. The depth of the soils ranged from shallow (35cm) to do very deep (>170 cm). The textural class of fine earth fraction was clayey in black soils pedons of CRS, Veppanthattai, whereas in red soil pedons of MRS, Vagarai and DARS, Chettinad it was coarse textured gravelly sandy loam and sandy clay loam in the surface horizons and sandy loam, sandy clay loam and sandy clay in sub-surface horizons. The surface horizons exhibited mostly medium fine granular to weak subangular blocky structures whereas in subsurface horizons shown medium fine granular to medium strong subangular blocky structures in red and red laterite soil pedons. The black soil pedons had coarse strong angular blocky structure. The clay content was widely varying from 16.5 to 40.9 per cent between red and red laterite soil pedons and in black soil pedons varied from 52.9 to 64.3 per cent. The silt content in most of the pedons showed an irregular trend with soil depth. The sand content was high in red and red laterite soils compared to black soils. The sand content of red and red laterite soils pedons was varied from 54.5 to 73.7 per cent and in black soils varied from 19.7 to 30.1 per cent. Bulk density increased with increasing depth. The moisture retention at field capacity (33kpa), permanent wilting point (1500kpa) and available water capacity were high in black soils followed by the application of transported black soils over the native red soils, red and red laterite soils. The available water content of the soils had close and positive relationship with clay, silt and CEC and negative correlation with sand. The red laterite soils of DARS, Chettinad had lower pH values ranged from moderately acidic to slightly acidic followed by red soils of MRS, Vagarai (neutral to strongly alkaline) and higher pH values in black soils of CRS, Veppanthattai (moderately alkaline to strongly alkaline). The electrical conductivity of pedons was ranged from 0.02 to 0.72 dS m-1 indicating that these soils were non saline in nature. The organic carbon showed wide variation and the values were found to be vary from low to medium (2.8 to 6.5 g kg-1 ) in surface horizons whereas in subsurface horizons it was low and ranged from 0.70 to 5.0 g kg-1 . The CaCO3, CEC, base saturation and CEC/clay ratios were higher in black soil pedons compared to red and red laterite soil pedons. The soils are low in available N, low to high in available P, medium to high in available K and high in available S. The soils are deficient to sufficient in available Zn, Cu, Fe and B and sufficient in available Mn. The chemical composition of soils exhibited the siliceous nature with broad and large silica/sesquioxides and silica/alumina ratios. The wider ratios of SiO2/R2O3 and SiO2/Al2O3 was found in the black soils of CRS, Veppanthattai followed by red soils of MRS, Vagarai where montmorillonite and illite as dominant clay minerals and narrow ratio was found in red laterite soils of DARS, Chettinad where Kaolinite was dominant clay mineral. From the X-ray diffraction analysis, it was clear that black soil clays were dominated by montmorillonite, with small quantities of illite and kaolinite. The red soil clays had montmorillonite, illite, and kaolinite type of clay minerals, while red laterite soils clays were dominated by kaolinite with small quantities of illite. Based on the morphology, physical, physico-chemical, electro-chemical and chemical properties of the soils, the soil pedons were classified as per USDA soil taxonomy. Soils were classified into four orders viz., Vertisols, Alfisols, Entisols and Inceptisols. Land capability classification was done based on the inherent soil characteristics, external land features and environmental factors. There are two land capability classes with five subclasses in the study area, viz., ‘IIItsef’, ‘IIIswf’, ‘III swef’, ‘IVtsef’ and ‘IVtsdef’. Four fertility capability units were identified in the study area. The conditions modifiers identified in the study area were‘d’ dryness, ‘v’ high clay content, ‘b’ basic reaction, ‘e’ low CEC and ‘i’ P fixation. The condition modifier‘d’ were dominated in its occurrence followed by the condition modifier ‘e’, ‘b’ and ‘i’. The red soils of MRS, Vagarai were marginally suitable to highly suitable for cultivation of maize, greengram, sorghum, redgram and blackgram. The black soils of CRS, Veppanthattai were moderately suitable to highly suitable for cultivation of cotton, sorghum, soybean, greengram, blackgram, redgram, sunflower, sesamum, maize and pearlmillet. The red laterite soils of DARS, Chettinad were marginally suitable to moderately suitable for cultivation of groundnut, greengram, blackgram, redgram, horsegram and pearlmillet. Thematic maps on soil depth, gravelliness, available water holding capacity, soil reaction, EC, soil organic carbon, calcareousness, CEC, BSP, availability macro and micro nutrients classes were generated. The limitations in the soils study area were due to slope, shallow depth, soil erosion, gravelliness, low water holding capacity, low and high pH, calcareousness, low organic carbon, low CEC, low BSP, low availability status of macro and micronutrients. Stepwise regression approach was used and results revealed that models developed using spectral data were able to estimate the soil properties with reasonably higher accuracy. Sand, silt, clay, field capacity, permanent wilting point, available water capacity, maximum water holding capacity, CaCO3, exchangeable cations, CEC, SiO2 and Fe2O3 content were best predicted. Validation of R 2 was above 0.5 for all soil properties except organic carbon, Al2O3, available Fe and Mn. The highest accuracy (R 2 =0.906) was found for CEC while lowest predictability (R2 =0.220) was for soil organic carbon. The employment of GIS techniques enabled the generation of thematic maps on soil qualities and helps to develop soil and crop management strategies to increase the agricultural production. The results of this land evaluation can be directly used for alternate land use and also for selecting site specific crops and management options with respect to the limitations prevailing in the three research stations.
Full-text available
An investigation was carried out for Characterization of soils of Sagarpali and Chitbadagaon village of Ballia District (U.P.). Depth wise soil samples were collected from two selected village viz. Sagarpali and Chitbadagaon. From both Sagarpali and Chitbadagaon pedons soil sample were collected from 0-20, 20-41, 41-61, 61-81, 81-101, 101-127, 127-152 and 152-177 cm depths and in this respect a soil profile was opened in each village. Standard method was followed for analysis of physico-chemical parameter of soil. Results revealed that pH of soil found to be slightly acid to slightly alkaline where EC was in normal range. Bulk density of soil found be 1.40-1.54 Mg m-³ and water holding capacity 36.89-47.79%. Organic carbon content varied from 0.13-0.71%. The soil was slightly moderately calcareous (0.36-2.34 CaCO 3 %). Available N, P, K, and S content in soil varied from 106.62-304 kg ha-1 , 6.81-11.10 mgkg-1 , 240.8-403.2. kg ha-1 and 4.32-8.35 mgkg-1 respectively. The texture of soil was found to be clayey to clay loamy.
Full-text available
Typical pedons representing major land forms of chilli growing soils in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh were characterized, classified and assessed for their nutrient status. The depth of soils was moderately shallow to deep, yellowish brown to dark red in colour, sandy to clay in texture, slightly acidic to moderately alkaline, non-saline, low in organic carbon content and low to medium in cation exchange capacity. Soils are low to medium in available nitrogen and phosphorus, low to high in available potassium and high in available sulphur. However, the soils were deficient in DTPA-extractable Fe, sufficient in DTPAextractable Zn, Cu and Mn. However the Entisolpedons did not show the presence of any diagnostic horizon. As per soil Taxonomy, Chintakani, Kusumanchiand Khammam rural, profiles were classified as Alfisols, Palvancha, Bhadrachalam, Chandrugonda and Wazeedu were classified as Inceptisols and Wyra, was classified as Vertisol.
Fine-grained micas are present in nearly all soils. Frequently, they are the most abundant component of the clay fraction. In many soils, micas are the principal source of native potassium for plants. On weathering, micas are altered to vermiculite and sometimes to smectitelike minerals and, as such, significantly increase the cation exchange capacity and affect the relative selectivity by soils for various exchangeable cations.
The effects of puddling on soil physical properties, percolation losses of water and nutrients, and nutrient uptake and grain yield of IR36 rice Oryza sativa in an Andaqueptic Haplaquoll and a Lithic Hapludoll were evaluated. Puddling decreased the bulk densities of both soils in the top 0.1-m layer by c30%, but the differences in bulk density between puddled and nonpuddled soil narrowed with time. Puddling significantly increased grain yield in both soils. Total nutrient uptake by rice increased significantly with puddling in both soils. Higher percolation rates did not improve soil productivity, but increased leaching losses of water and plant nutrients. Bulk density and soil strength were the main factors affecting grain yield. -from Authors
Soil Classification for the alluvium derived soils for Indian Gangetic Plains of Uttar Pradesh
  • R R Agarwal
Agarwal, R.R. (1961). Soil Classification for the alluvium derived soils for Indian Gangetic Plains of Uttar Pradesh. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science 9, 129-131.
Soil Survey and Soil Work in V
  • R R Agarwal
  • C L Mehrotra
Agarwal, R.R. and Mehrotra, c.L. (1952). Soil Survey and Soil Work in V.P. Vol. II., Supdt. Printing and Stationery, U.P., Allahabad.
Saline soils of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plain (North Bihar) their characteristics and genesis
  • G P Bhargava
  • R C Sharma
Bhargava, G.P. and Sharma, R.C. (1982). Saline soils of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plain (North Bihar) their characteristics and genesis. Journal ojth c lndian Society of Soil Science 30, 334-341.
Methods of Soil Analysis. Part I and 2
  • C A Black
Black, C.A. ( 1965). Methods of Soil Analysis. Part I and 2 (American Society of Agronomy Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, USA).