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Characterisation, classification and evaluation of soil resources in Sivagiri micro-watershed of Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh for sustainable land use planning

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The morphological, physical and physico-chemical characteristics of soils in Sivagiri micro-watershed of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh have been studied. The study revealed that the soils are deep to very deep, light yellowish brown to dark red, excessively to poorly drained, slightly acidic to moderately alkaline, low to medium in organic carbon and low to medium in cation exchange capacity with wide textural variations. Soils are low to medium in available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and high in sulphur whereas deficient in Fe, deficient to sufficient in available Zn and sufficient in available Cu and Mn. The soils on gently sloping topography exhibit the development of argillic horizon (Bt) while the soils on nearly level lands have cambic horizons (Bw). However, the Entisol pedons do not show presence of any diagnostic horizons. The soils have been classified as Aquic Ustorthents, Typic Ustipsamments, Typic Ustifluvents, Typic Haplustepts, Vertic Haplustepts, Typic Haplustalfs and Typic Rhodustalfs. On the basis of the major soil constraints, sustainable land use plan for the micro-watershed has also been suggested for their better management.
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Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp 11-21 (2005)
Received June 2003; Accepted February 2005
Characterisation, Classification and Evaluation of Soil Resources in Sivagiri
Micro-watershed of Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh for Sustainable
Land Use Planning
A. THANGASAMY1, M.V.S. NAIDU, N. RAMAVATHARAM AND C. RAGHAVA REDDY
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, S.V. Agricultural College, Acharya N.G. Ranga
Agricultural University, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, 517502
Abstract: The morphological, physical and physico-chemical characteristics of soils in Sivagiri
micro-watershed of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh have been studied. The study revealed that
the soils are deep to very deep, light yellowish brown to dark red, excessively to poorly drained,
slightly acidic to moderately alkaline, low to medium in organic carbon and low to medium in cation
exchange capacity with wide textural variations. Soils are low to medium in available nitrogen,
phosphorus and potassium and high in sulphur whereas deficient in Fe, deficient to sufficient in
available Zn and sufficient in available Cu and Mn. The soils on gently sloping topography exhibit the
development of argillic horizon (Bt) while the soils on nearly level lands have cambic horizons (Bw).
However, the Entisol pedons do not show presence of any diagnostic horizons. The soils have been
classified as Aquic Ustorthents, Typic Ustipsamments, Typic Ustifluvents, Typic Haplustepts, Vertic
Haplustepts, Typic Haplustalfs and Typic Rhodustalfs. On the basis of the major soil constraints,
sustainable land use plan for the micro-watershed has also been suggested for their better management.
(Key words: Micro-watershed, soil classification, land use plan, cambic horizon, argillic horizon)
Present address
1Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Indian
Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, 110012
Watershed is a “geo-hydrological” entity or piece of
land that drains at a common outlet. This natural unit
is evolved through the interaction of the rainwater
and land mass and normally comprises of arable and
non-arable lands along with drainage lines. Thus, the
watershed area is delineated based on distribution and
flow of rainwater, which facilitates scientific devel-
opments of natural resources like soil, water and veg-
etation. Characterisation and classification of soil re-
sources in Palar-Manimuthar watershed of Tamil
Nadu played a crucial role in optimal utilisation of
natural resources on a sustained basis (Arunkumar et
al. 2002). Sivagiri micro-watershed in Chittoor dis-
trict of Andhra Pradesh was selected for this study
as it has wide variety of soils. As the catchment area
is an undulating terrain, it is quite likely that the land
is subjected to different degrees of erosion resulting
in varied depth of soils, making them fit for growing
only a few set of crops. Keeping these factors in
mind the study has been undertaken to characterize
and classify the soils of Sivagiri micro-watershed and
to suggest the land use plan to protect the natural
resources for sustainable crop production.
Materials and Methods
The study area, comprising of 1220 ha, lies
between 13°25' and 13°29' N latitude, and 79°32'
and 79°36' E longitude. It represents semi-arid mon-
soon type climate. The annual precipitation is 1215
mm of which 89% is received during July to Novem-
ber. The mean annual soil temperature is 31.5 °C
with mean summer and winter soil temperatures
32.1 °C and 27.3 °C, respectively. Hence, the area
qualifies for ‘iso-hyperthermic’ temperature regime.
The soil moisture control section is dry for more
than 90 cumulative days or 45 consecutive days in
four months following summer solstice. So it quali-
fies for ustic soil moisture regime. The natural veg-
etation includes grasses, Prosopis juliflora,
Parthenium sp., Tridax sp., mango (Mangifera in-
dica) and neem (Azadirachta indica) etc., The soils
were developed from granite-gneiss and quartzite par-
ent materials.
Nine typical pedons representing nearly level to
gently sloping (3 to 5% slope) topography were stud-
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12 JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY OF SOIL SCIENCE [Vol. 53
ied in detail and the morphological characteristics were
presented in table 1. The detailed morphological de-
scription of these nine pedons was studied as per the
procedure outlined in soil survey manual (Soil Survey
Staff 1951). The soil samples representing each hori-
zon of the pedons were collected and characterized
for important physical, physico-chemical properties
and available nutrient status using standard proce-
dures. The soil samples collected from the control
section (25 to 100 cm) of each pedon were analysed
for clay minerals by sedimentation technique (Jack-
son 1979) and semi-quantitative estimation of clay
minerals was made based on the peak intensities
(Gjems 1967). The soils were classified according to
Keys to Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff 1998).
Considering limitations and potentials of the soils, land
capability classification was evaluated upto sub-class
level (Klingebiel and Montgomery 1966) and based
on that a suitable land use plan has also been sug-
gested.
Results and Discussion
Soil Morphology
The pedons 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 have developed on
nearly level (0-1%) lands while the pedons 3, 4, 8
and 9 have originated from gently sloping (3-5%)
topography. The soils are deep to very deep, poorly
drained to excessively drained. The soils on gently
sloping topography have yellowish brown (10 YR 5/
6) to dark red (2.5 YR 3/6) colour and becomes light
yellowish brown (10 YR 6/4) to very dark grayish
brown (10 YR 3/2) in nearly level lands. The soil
colour appears to be the function of chemical and
mineralogical composition as well as textural make
up of soils and conditioned by topographic position
and moisture regime (Walia and Rao 1997). The soils
of the micro-watershed show wide textural variations
(Clay to sandy) caused by parent material, topogra-
phy, in situ weathering and translocation of clay.
Presence of very dark gray (10 YR 3/1) to very dark
grayish brown (10 YR 3/2) mottles in pedons 1 and 5
reflects impeded drainage in the sub-soil. The struc-
ture of the soils is crumb, sub-angular blocky, angu-
lar blocky and single grain. The consistence of the
soils is loose to very hard (dry), loose to very firm
(moist) and non-sticky to very sticky and non-plastic
to very plastic (wet) depending on the clay content.
Pedons 4, 8 and 9 have argillic (Bt) sub-surface diag-
nostic horizons, whereas pedons 1, 6 and 7 exhibit
cambic (Bw) sub-surface diagnostic horizons. How-
ever, pedons 2, 3 and 5 do not have any diagnostic
horizons. Slight to violent effervescence with dilute
HCl is observed in pedons 3, 4 and 7. Pedon 7 alone
exhibits vertic properties such as 3 to 7 mm wide
cracks extended up to 35 cm depth and weak indis-
tinct slickensides in lower horizons.
Soil Characteristics
Physical characteristics: Physical characteristics
of the soils are presented in table 2. Granulometric
data indicated that the clay content varied from 2.50
to 58.30%. The increase in clay content in Bt hori-
zons of pedons 4, 8 and 9 could be attributed to
vertical migration or translocation of clay (Sarkar et
al. 2002), whereas the enrichment of clay in Bw
horizon of pedon 7 was primarily due to in situ weath-
ering of parent material. An irregular decrease of clay
content in pedons 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 might be due to
variability in weathering in different horizons. Silt con-
tent of all the pedons exhibited an irregular trend with
depth. Coarse fraction (Sand) constitutes the bulk of
mechanical fractions, which could be attributed to
the dominance of alluvial sandy parent material.
The bulk density varied from 1.32 to 1.90 Mg
m-3 and increased with depth which might be due to
more compaction of finer particles in deeper layers
caused by over-head weight of the surface soils
(Jewitt et al. 1979). Low bulk density values of sur-
face soils could be attributed due to high organic
matter content. Water holding capacity of different
pedons ranged from 13.05 to 58.99%. These differ-
ences were due to the variation in the depth and clay,
silt and organic carbon content. This observation is
further supported by positive and significant correla-
tion of water holding capacity with clay (r=0.82**)
and silt (r=0.88**).
Physico-chemical characteristics: All the pedons
studied were slightly acidic (5.83) to moderately al-
kaline (8.47) in reaction and appear to be related with
parent materials, rainfall and topography. The KCl-pH
values were lower than the water pH values, indicat-
ing the existence of net negative charge on colloidal
particles. All the pedons showed very low electrical
conductivity values ranging from 0.02 to 0.36 dS
m-1, suggesting very low amount of soluble salts.
Organic carbon content of the soils was low to
medium (0.4 to 6.4 g kg-1) (Table 3). The organic
carbon content decreased with the depth of the
pedons except in pedons 3 and 4. This could be
attributed to the addition of plant residues and farm-
yard manure to surface horizons than in the lower
horizons. The removal of surface soil containing high
organic carbon due to erosion was found to be a
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Table 1. Morphological characteristics of soils
Pedon Depth Colour Mottle Tex- Structure Consistency Efferve- Boundary Cutans Pores Roots Other
no. & (m) colour ture scence features
horizon Dry Moist S G T Dry Moist Wet D T Ty Th Q S Q S Q
Pedon 1. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.26 10 YR 5/1 10 YR 5/1 - l f 1 cr s fr ssps - c s - f c f c -
A1 0.26-0.63 10 YR 5/3 10 YR 4/3 - l m 2 sbk sh fi sp - d w - f c f c -
Bw1 0.63-0.92 10 YR 6/4 10 YR 6/2 - l m 2 sbk sh fi sp - d w - f c f c -
Bw2 0.92-1.30 10 YR 5/4 10 YR 5/3 10 YR 3/2 l m 2 sbk sh fi s p - d s - f c f f -
Bw3 1.30-1.56 10 YR 5/6 10 YR 5/4 - l f 1 sbk l l sopo - d w - m c - - -
C 1.56-2.00+ 10 YR 5/8 10 YR 5/8 - sl c 0 sg l l sopo - - - - m c - - -
Pedon 2. Sandy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustipsamments
Ap 0.00-0.19 10 YR 4/2 10 YR 4/1 - ls f 1 cr s l sopo - c s - f c f c -
A1 0.19-0.42 10 YR 6/4 10 YR 6/4 - ls f 0 sg l l sopo - c s - c f f c -
A2 0.42-0.70 10 YR 5/8 10 YR 5/6 - ls f 0 sg l l sopo - c s - c f f c -
C1 0.70-1.02 10 YR 6/6 10 YR 6/6 - ls f 0 sg l l sopo - d s - c f - - -
C2 1.02-1.40 10 YR 6/4 10 YR 6/4 - ls f 0 sg l l sopo - d s - c f - - -
C3 1.40-2.00+ 10 YR 6/4 10 YR 6/4 - ls f 0 sg l l sopo - - - - c f - - -
Pedon 3. Coarse-loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustifluvents
Ap 0.00-0.12 10 YR 6/3 10 YR 6/2 - ls vf 0 sg l l sopo - c s - c f f c -
A1 0.12-0.54 7.5 YR 5/6 7.5 YR 5/4 - l m 2 sbk s fr ssps - c s - m c c c -
A2 0.54-0.86 10 YR 5/6 10 YR 5/6 - sl f 1 sbk l l sopo es c s - c f f c -
A3 0.86-0.94 10 YR 5/6 10 YR 5/6 - sl c 0 sg l l sopo ev c s - c f - - -
Cr 0.94+Parent rock mixed with soil
Pedon 4. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.14 5 YR 6/6 5 YR 6/6 - sl f 1 cr l l sopo es c s - c f f c -
E 0.14-0.41 2.5 YR 3/6 2.5 YR 3/6 - l m 2 sbk sh fi sp es c s - m c m c -
Bt1 0.41-0.81 2.5 YR 4/6 2.5 YR 3/6 - cl m 2 sbk h fi sp ev c s t th c m c m c -
Bt2 0.81-1.40 2.5 YR 4/6 2.5 YR 3/6 - cl m 2 sbk sh fi sp ev c s t th c m c - - -
C 1.40 +Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 5. Coarse-loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Aquic Ustorthents
Ap 0.00-0.25 10 YR 4/2 10 YR 4/2 - l m 2 sbk s fr sp - c s - f c f c -
A1 0.25-0.42 10 YR 5/6 10 YR 5/6 - sl f 1 sbk l l sopo - c s - f c f c -
A2 0.42-0.66 10 YR 4/6 10 YR 414 10 YR 3/2 sl m 2 sbk s fr ssps - g s - f c f c -
A3 0.66-0.95 10 YR 4/6 10 YR 414 10 YR 3/1 sl m 2 sbk s fr ssps - c s - f c f f -
A4 0.95-1.20 10 YR 5/8 10 YR 5/6 - sl f 0 sg l l sopo - g s - c f - - -
C 1.20-1.50+ 10 YR 6/8 10 YR 6/8 - ls f 0 sg l l sopo - - c f - - -
Pedon 6. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hypethermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.18 10 YR 3/2 10 YR 3/1 - cl m 2 sbk s fr ssps - c s - f c f f -
Bw1 0.18-0.48 10 YR 5/6 10 YR 5/6 - l c 3 abk sh fi vsps - d s - f m f f -
Bw2 0.48-0.81 10 YR 4/6 10 YR 4/6 - l c 3 abk h fi vsps - g s - f m f f -
Bw3 0.81-1.11 10 YR 6/6 10 YR 6/6 - scl m s abk sh fi ssps - g s - m f f f -
Contd.
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Table 1. Morphological characteristics of soils — Contd.
C1 1.11-1.35 10 YR 4/6 10 YR 4/6 - s f 0 sg l l sopo - g w - c - - -
C2 1.35-1.54+ 10 YR 4/4 10 YR 4/4 - sl f 0 sg l l sopo - g s - c f - - -
Pedon 7. Fine, smectitic, iso-hyperthermic, Vertic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.15 10 YR 5/2 10 YR 5/1 - l m 2 sbk sh fr sp ev c s - f c f m -
A1 0.15-0.35 10 YR 5/3 10 YR 5/2 - cl m 2 sbk h fi sp ev d s - f c f f -
Poorly formed
Bw1 0.35-0.48 10 YR 4/2 10 YR 4/2 - c c 3 abk vh fi vsps ev d s - vf m f f Slicken
sides Poorly formed
Bw2 0.48-0.72 10 YR 4/2 10 YR 4/2 - c c 3 abk vh vfi vsps ev d s - vf m f f Slicken
sides
Bw3 0.72-.1.02 10 YR 3/3 10 YR 3/2 - c c 3 abk vh vfi vsps ev d s - vf m - -
Bw4 1.02-1.50+ 10 YR 3/2 10 YR 3/2 - c c 3 abk vh vfi vsps ev d s - vf m - -
Pedon 8. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.16 5 YR 5/8 5 YR 5/8 - l f 1 cr s fr ssps - c s - m c f f -
Bt1 0.16-0.42 2.54YR 4/4 2.5 YR 3/4 - cl m 2 sbk sh fi sp - g s t tn p m c m c -
Bt2 0.42-0.68 2.5 YR 4/4 2.5YR 3/4 - cl m 2 sbk sh fi sp - g s t tn p m c m c -
C 0.68+Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 9. Fine, kaolinitic, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.18 5 YR 3/4 5 YR 3/3 - cl m 2 sbk sh fi sp - c s - f c f m -
AB 0.18-0.47 5 YR 4/4 5 YR 4/4 - c c 3 abk h vfi vsvp - g s - f c vf c -
Bt1 0.47-0.73 5 YR 5/6 5 YR 5/6 - c c 3 abk h vfi vsvp - g s t tk c f c f f -
Bt2 0.73-1.09 5 YR 5/8 5 YR 5/6 - cl c 2 abk h vfi vsvp - d w t tk c f m - - -
Bt3 1.09-1.38 5 YR 5/8 5 YR 5/8 - scl c 2 abk h vfi vsvp - c s t tk c c f - - -
Cr 1.38+Parent rock mixed with soil
Texture: c - clay, cl - clay loam, l - loam, s - sandy, sl - sandy loam, scl - sandy clay loam,
ls - loamy sand,
Structure: Size (S) - vf - very fine, f - fine, m - medium, c - coarse ; Grade (G) - O - structureless, 1 - weak, 2 - moderate, 3 - strong ; Type (T)-cr - crumb, sg - single grain, abk -
angular blocky, sbk - sub-angular blocky.
Consistency:
Dry: s - soft, l - loose, sh - slightly hard, h - hard, vh - very hard,
Moist: l - loose, fr - friable, fi - firm, vfi - very firm
Wet: so - non-sticky, ss - slightly sticky, sticky - s, vs - very sticky ; po - non plastic ps - slightly plastic, p - plastic, vp - very plastic.
Cutans Ty - Type - t- Argillan, Th - Thickness tn - thin, thick - th Quantity (Q) p - patchy c - continuous
Pores: Size (S) f - fine, m - medium, c - coarse ; Q - Quantity f - few, c - common, m - many
Roots: Size (S) f - fine, m - medium, c - coarse ; Q -Quantity f - few, c - common, m - many
Effervescence: es - strong effervescence, ev - violent effervescence
Boundary: D - Distinctness, c - clear, g - gradual, d - diffuse
T - Topography ; s - smooth ; w - wavy
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Table 2. Physical properties of the soils
Pedon no. Depth Sand (%) Silt (%) Clay (%) Bulk Particle Water holding
& horizon (m) (0.05 - 2.0 (0.002-0.05 (<0.002 density density capacity
mm) mm) mm) (Mg m-3) (Mg m-3) (%)
Pedon 1. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.26 40.02 36.93 23.05 1.44 2.44 44.32
A1 0.26-0.63 42.00 31.90 25.56 1.53 2.55 41.61
Bw1 0.63-0.92 43.50 36.50 20.00 1.61 2.48 41.08
Bw2 0.92-1.30 38.02 38.88 23.10 1.69 2.52 48.76
Bw3 1.30-1.56 45.95 39.05 15.00 1.72 2.51 35.51
C 1.56-2.00+ 62.00 33.00 5.00 1.73 2.39 29.74
Pedon 2. Sandy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustipsamments
Ap 0.00-0.19 76.00 19.00 5.00 1.49 2.62 21.89
A1 0.19-0.42 77.39 15.00 7.61 1.52 2.43 20.42
A2 0.42-0.70 74.75 21.21 4.04 1.58 2.47 21.50
C1 0.70-1.02 80.56 16.94 2.50 1.66 2.4 19.38
C2 1.02-1.40 82.02 15.48 2.50 1.68 2.53 14.63
C3 1.40-2.00 84.55 12.95 2.50 1.73 2.49 13.53
Pedon 3. Coarse-loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustifluvents
Ap 0.00-0.12 76.00 21.50 2.50 1.49 2.44 13.05
A1 0.12-0.54 49.00 31.00 20.00 1.55 2.46 31.65
A2 0.54-0.86 64.44 23.06 12.50 1.70 2.17 27.51
A3 0.86-0.94 72.00 23.00 5.00 1.72 2.30 23.61
Cr 0.94+ Parent rock mixed with soil
Pedon 4. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.14 63.88 31.00 5.12 1.43 2.36 25.50
E 0.14-0.41 49.77 40.00 10.23 1.50 2.46 35.69
Bt1 0.41-0.81 36.12 25.20 39.04 1.61 2.40 41.13
Bt2 0.81-1.40 24.04 37.78 38.18 1.67 2.45 45.79
C 1.40+ Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 5. Coarse-loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Aquic Ustorthents
Ap 0.00-0.25 37.30 39.78 22.92 1.39 2.46 30.79
A1 0.25-0.42 54.48 27.60 17.92 1.46 2.52 30.83
A2 0.42-0.66 53.68 28.75 17.57 1.57 2.53 25.12
A3 0.66-0.95 52.08 34.78 13.14 1.64 2.50 20.07
A4 0.95-1.20 74.32 13.01 12.67 1.73 2.54 23.26
C 1.20-1.50 83.48 14.02 2.50 1.90 2.72 21.69
Pedon 6. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.18 42.18 30.15 27.67 1.42 2.53 30.92
Bw1 0.18-0.48 43.88 35.62 20.50 1.48 2.48 37.94
Bw2 0.48-0.81 42.58 33.40 24.02 1.51 2.58 42.68
Bw3 0.81-1.11 57.00 23.00 20.00 1.56 2.67 40.90
C1 1.11-1.35 87.78 7.22 5.00 1.61 2.42 41.02
C2 1.35-1.54 71.94 15.26 12.80 1.61 2.25 28.70
Pedon 7. Fine, smectitic, iso-hyperthermic, Vertic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.15 39.58 40.02 20.40 1.34 2.52 30.63
A1 0.15-0.35 36.21 30.32 33.47 1.38 2.52 37.66
Bw1 0.35-0.48 22.00 33.91 44.09 1.47 2.42 48.77
Bw2 0.48-0.72 22.00 37.00 41.00 1.52 2.49 53.42
Bw3 0.72-1.02 22.00 32.76 45.24 1.57 2.39 45.62
Bw4 1.02-1.50 17.20 24.50 58.30 1.62 2.67 58.99
Pedon 8. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.16 50.02 35.86 14.12 1.32 2.43 34.88
Bt1 0.16-0.42 34.84 36.13 29.03 1.49 2.43 45.72
Bt2 0.42-0.68 36.00 30.90 33.10 1.58 2.48 46.64
C 0.68+Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 9. Fine, kaolinitic, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.18 37.00 24.94 38.06 1.48 2.42 44.64
AB 0.18-0.47 28.14 25.70 46.16 1.49 2.34 50.60
Bt1 0.47-0.73 27.50 28.50 44.00 1.49 2.51 50.53
Bt2 0.73-1.09 36.31 26.19 37.50 1.53 2.62 50.01
Bt3 1.09-1.38 50.00 17.50 32.50 1.62 2.34 46.21
Cr 1.38+Parent rock mixed with soil
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Table 3. Physico-chemical properties of the soils
Pedon No. Depth pH (1:2.5) EC Organic CaCO3CEC Exchangeable bases Base
& Horizon (m) (dS m-1) carbon (g kg-1) [cmol [cmol(p+) kg-1] saturation
H2O1 N KCl (g kg-1)(p
+) kg-1] (1 N NH4OAc, pH 7.0) (%)
(1 N NH4(1 N NH4 OAc
OAc, Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+K+pH 7.0)
pH 7.0)
Pedon 1. Fine-loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.26 7.98 7.70 0.18 5.5 4.1 13.62 5.85 4.25 0.27 0.25 77.97
A1 0.26-0.63 8.02 6.81 0.07 1.8 8.3 13.43 5.75 3.91 0.20 0.12 74.31
Bw1 0.63-0.92 8.15 6.68 0.08 1.5 4.1 16.97 6.55 4.30 0.61 0.10 68.12
Bw2 0.92-1.30 8.22 6.94 0.07 1.1 4.1 14.44 5.65 4.50 0.40 0.13 73.96
Bw3 1.30-1.56 8.28 6.68 0.07 0.5 8.3 12.41 5.50 4.25 0.31 0.09 81.79
C 1.56-2.00+ 8.30 7.12 0.05 0.4 8.3 4.72 2.50 0.90 0.18 0.04 76.69
Pedon 2. Sandy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustipsamments
Ap 0.00-0.19 7.73 7.05 0.12 3.7 12.5 7.66 4.80 1.35 0.29 0.10 85.38
A1 0.19-0.42 8.32 7.57 0.09 1.9 12.5 4.00 1.60 1.30 0.38 0.13 85.25
A2 0.42-0.70 8.15 7.36 0.11 1.2 4.2 5.13 2.55 0.95 0.22 0.08 74.07
C1 0.70-1.02 8.04 7.02 0.09 1.0 16.6 3.64 1.80 0.90 0.13 0.09 80.22
C2 1.02-1.40 8.04 7.02 0.09 0.8 16.6 5.53 2.55 1.25 0.13 0.09 72.69
C3 1.40-2.00+ 8.01 6.98 0.08 0.6 21.0 7.45 3.90 1.15 0.18 0.10 71.54
Pedon 3. Coarse - loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustifluvents
Ap 0.00-0.12 6.54 6.09 0.05 1.5 4.2 1.50 0.70 0.40 0.07 0.04 80.67
A1 0.12-0.54 6.63 5.54 0.02 3.7 8.3 5.34 2.00 1.75 0.04 0.05 71.91
A2 0.54-0.86 6.83 5.90 0.03 1.3 16.6 6.63 3.70 1.85 0.04 0.06 85.22
A3 0.86-0.94 7.19 5.98 0.04 2.1 41.6 18.49 12.05 2.10 0.15 0.14 78.10
Cr 0.94+Parent rock mixed with soil
Pedon 4. Fine - loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.14 6.37 5.86 0.05 2.5 16.6 3.19 1.60 0.40 0.20 0.25 76.80
E 0.14-0.41 5.83 4.77 0.03 3.6 29.1 12.02 2.70 0.85 0.04 0.20 31.53
Bt1 0.41-0.81 6.08 5.12 0.08 4.1 37.4 26.15 6.90 2.35 0.04 0.17 36.18
Bt2 0.81-1.40 7.96 7.23 0.30 2.1 108.1 45.14 16.90 2.95 0.11 0.40 45.10
C 1.40+Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 5. Coarse - loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Aquic Ustorthents
Ap 0.0-0.25 8.38 7.68 0.22 5.8 20.8 14.52 6.70 4.00 0.42 0.09 77.20
A1 0.25-.42 8.00 7.22 0.19 1.7 25.0 8.48 4.30 2.60 0.20 0.09 84.79
A2 0.42-0.66 7.94 6.85 0.16 1.8 25.0 15.20 6.50 4.00 0.26 0.10 71.45
A3 0.66-0.95 8.06 6.60 0.13 1.4 20.8 18.84 8.85 4.10 0.46 0.12 71.82
A4 0.95-1.20 7.91 6.62 0.11 1.6 49.9 14.76 5.65 4.20 0.46 0.07 70.33
C 1.20-1.50+ 8.32 6.78 0.06 0.9 49.9 7.59 3.80 1.60 0.31 0.03 75.63
Pedon 6. Fine - loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.18 7.99 7.38 0.26 6.4 54.1 22.45 12.70 5.40 0.44 0.20 83.47
Bw1 0.18-0.48 7.92 6.78 0.12 1.4 12.5 9.13 5.75 2.40 0.22 0.10 92.77
Bw2 0.48-0.81 7.73 6.45 0.14 1.4 41.6 19.13 10.80 5.50 0.31 0.14 87.56
Bw3 0.81-1.11 8.11 6.45 0.08 0.8 49.9 18.56 8.55 5.55 0.53 0.17 79.74
C1 1.11-1.35 8.36 6.90 0.07 0.6 33.3 6.29 2.80 1.85 0.20 0.07 78.22
C2 1.35-1.54+ 8.42 6.70 0.09 0.5 45.8 8.53 3.80 2.20 0.24 0.07 73.97
Pedon 7. Fine, smectitic, iso-hyperthermic, Vertic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.15 8.33 7.73 0.27 6.3 16.6 15.86 8.40 3.90 0.40 0.25 81.65
A1 0.15-0.35 8.10 7.08 0.20 3.5 12.4 20.75 7.90 6.45 1.28 0.20 76.29
Bw1 0.35-0.48 7.76 6.65 0.28 2.7 25.0 18.37 7.10 4.30 0.66 0.17 66.58
Bw2 0.48-0.72 7.82 6.77 0.36 2.5 41.6 17.56 6.40 4.50 0.99 0.14 68.51
Bw3 0.72-1.02 8.04 6.76 0.31 2.4 41.6 13.28 6.60 4.05 0.79 0.13 87.12
Bw4 1.02-1.50+ 8.27 6.84 0.19 2.4 49.9 15.55 8.80 3.85 1.25 0.21 90.74
Pedon 8. Fine - loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.16 6.97 5.98 0.07 3.4 12.5 6.88 1.75 1.15 0.13 0.10 45.49
Bt1 0.16-0.42 6.46 5.20 0.04 1.7 33.3 18.77 5.75 1.70 0.29 0.14 41.98
Bt2 0.42-0.68 6.52 4.70 0.08 1.4 41.6 15.72 4.15 3.35 0.37 0.16 51.08
C 0.68+Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 9. Fine, kaolinitic, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.18 7.68 6.75 0.14 4.7 54.1 11.92 4.15 3.55 0.35 0.22 69.38
AB 0.18-0.47 8.05 6.92 0.10 2.3 66.6 12.96 8.70 1.45 1.06 0.20 88.04
Bt1 0.47-0.73 8.42 7.15 0.15 1.3 66.6 10.38 4.60 3.50 0.11 0.13 80.35
Bt2 0.73-1.09 8.46 6.91 0.15 1.3 70.7 12.06 7.30 2.60 0.75 0.12 89.30
Bt3 1.09-1.38 8.47 7.19 0.21 1.1 83.2 9.43 4.35 2.80 0.11 0.14 78.47
Cr 1.38+Parent rock mixed with soil
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factor for the lower organic carbon content in the
surface soils of the pedons 3 and 4. The CEC of the
soils ranged from 1.50 to 45.14 cmol (p+) kg-1 which
corresponds to clay content in the respective hori-
zons. Content of CaCO3 was less which ranged from
4.1 to 108.1 g kg-1. Exchangeable bases in all the
pedons were in the order of Ca2+ > Mg2+ > Na+ > K+
except in pedon 4 which had a sequence of Ca2+ >
Mg2+ > K+ > Na+ on the exchange complex. The base
saturation varied from 31.53 to 92.77%.
Nutrient Status and Soil Fertility
Macronutrients: Soil fertility exhibits the status
of different soils with regard to the amount and avail-
ability of nutrients essential for plant growth. The
available nitrogen content of the soils varied from 59
to 502 kg ha-1 (Table 4) throughout the depth. How-
ever, available nitrogen content was found to be maxi-
mum in surface horizon and decreased regularly with
soil depth which might be due to decreasing trend of
organic carbon with depth. These observations are in
accordance with the findings of Prasuna Rani et al.
(1992).
The available phosphorus content in the hori-
zons of the pedons varied from 4.5 to 29.3 kg ha-1.
However, the highest available phosphorus was ob-
served in the surface horizons. The available P de-
creased regularly with depth. The reason for higher P
in surface horizons might possibly be the confine-
ment of crop cultivation to the rhizosphere and
supplementing of the depleted phosphorous through
external sources i.e. fertilizers.
The content of available K in all the pedons
varied from 22 to 212 kg ha-1. The highest available
K content was noticed in the surface horizons and
showed more or less decreasing trend with depth.
This could be attributed to more intense weathering,
release of labile K from organic residues, application
of K fertilizers and upward translocation of K from
lower depths along with capillary rise of ground wa-
ter. Similar results were reported by Hirekurabar et
al. (2000).
The available sulphur content varied from 12.5
to 35.2 mg kg-1 soil. Surface layers contained more
available content than in the deeper layers which could
be due to higher amount of organic matter in surface
layers than in deeper layers.
Micronutrients: The DTPA extractable Zn
ranged from 0.42 to 0.94 mg kg-1 soil in surface and
0.10 to 0.96 mg kg-1 soil in sub-surface horizons.
Vertical distribution of zinc exhibited little variation
with depth. Considering 0.60 mg kg-1 as critical level
(Lindsay and Norvell 1978), these soils are sufficient
in surface horizons while deficient in sub-surface ho-
rizons. Similar views were also expressed by Sarkar
et al. (2002).
All the pedons were found to be sufficient in
available copper (0.28 to 1.68 mg kg-1) as all the
values were well above the critical limit of 0.20 mg
kg-1 soil as suggested by Lindsay and Norvell (1978).
Similar results were also reported by Sarkar et al.
(2000).
The DTPA extractable Fe content varied from
0.48 to 7.74 mg kg-1 soil. According to critical limit
of 4.5 mg kg-1 of Lindsay and Norvell (1978) the
soils were low in available iron except in Bt1 and Bt2
horizons of pedon 8. The higher concentration of
DTPA-iron in Bt1 and Bt2 horizons might be due to
the accumulation of iron brought down as a result of
illuviation of clay from the upper horizons. The avail-
able iron showed a decreasing trend with depth.
These findings are in agreement with the findings of
Prasad and Sakal (1991). The available Mn content
of these soils varied from 3.68 to 17.24 mg kg-1 soil.
It was high in the surface horizons and gradually
decreased with depth, which might be due to higher
biological activity and organic carbon in the surface
horizons. These observations are in agreement with
the findings of Murthy et al. (1997).
The micronutrient analysis of the Sivagiri mi-
cro-watershed revealed that the samples were defi-
cient in available iron and well supplied with Cu and
Mn. However, the available Zn was sufficient in sur-
face horizons whereas it was deficient in sub-surface
horizons.
Soil Classification
Based on morphology and soil properties, the
soils were classified according to Keys to Soil Tax-
onomy (Soil Survey Staff 1998) into the order
Entisols (Pedons 3 & 5) which do not have any
diagnostic horizons, Inceptisols (Pedons 1, 6 & 7)
with cambic (Bw) sub-surface diagnostic horizon and
Alfisols (Pedons 4, 8 & 9) having argillic (Bt) sub-
surface diagnostic horizon. Pedon 2 was placed un-
der Psamments at sub-order level because of loamy
sand or sandy texture. These are put as
Ustipsamments at great group level due to the pres-
ence of ustic soil moisture regime. Further, the pedon
2 was classified as Typic Ustipsamments at sub-group
level as it is characterized by the absence of lithic
contact, saturation with water, frigid or mesic or
thermic or hyperthermic or isomesic soil temperature
regimes and lamellae and did not show a Munsell
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18 JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY OF SOIL SCIENCE [Vol. 53
Table 4. Available nutrient status of the soils
Pedon no. Depth Available macronutrients Available micronutrients
& (m) N P K S Zn Cu Fe Mn
horizon (kg ha-1) (mg kg-1) (mg kg-1)
Pedon 1. Fine -loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.26 502 15.9 212 32.8 0.74 1.18 2.38 8.02
A1 0.26-0.63 218 12.8 100 23.7 0.62 1.18 2.14 7.26
Bw1 0.63-0.92 170 12.6 89 23.2 0.56 1.08 1.68 6.38
Bw2 0.92-1.30 151 10.9 112 21.8 0.46 1.14 1.52 5.64
Bw3 1.30-1.56 85 9.8 78 20.4 0.28 0.96 1.10 4.10
C 1.56-2.00+ 59 4.5 33 17.1 0.22 0.64 1.02 3.88
Pedon 2. Sandy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustipsamments
Ap 0.00-0.19 273 14.3 89 34.2 0.58 0.92 2.54 6.08
A1 0.19-0.42 121 11.4 112 24.1 0.36 0.82 2.26 5.16
A2 0.42-0.70 107 25.4 67 24.0 0.32 0.66 1.64 4.72
C1 0.70-1.02 73 24.7 67 23.3 0.34 0.64 0.92 4.24
C2 1.02-1.40 70 10.8 78 20.0 0.28 0.74 0.48 3.68
C3 1.40-2.00+ 59 5.8 89 17.1 0.18 0.48 0.78 3.68
Pedon 3. Coarse- loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Ustifluvents
Ap 0.00-0.12 121 16.8 33 23.1 0.62 1.44 0.80 7.44
A1 0.12-0.54 266 29.3 44 23.7 0.54 1.26 1.74 7.40
A2 0.54-0.86 255 12.6 56 21.8 0.58 0.98 1.28 4.96
A3 0.86-0.94 195 12.4 123 12.5 0.24 0.70 1.04 4.32
Cr 0.94+Parent rock mixed with soil
Pedon 4. Fine - loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.14 229 8.5 212 20.3 0.64 1.68 1.92 10.30
E 0.14-0.41 373 10.3 168 23.8 0.64 1.50 3.18 8.94
Bt1 0.41-0.81 303 12.8 145 21.8 0.48 1.24 3.44 8.12
Bt2 0.81-1.40 158 8.4 123 15.6 0.40 1.24 4.08 6.5
C 1.40+Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 5. Coarse- loamy, siliceous, iso-hyperthermic, Aquic Ustorthents
Ap 0.0-0.25 373 24.0 78 34.2 0.94 0.82 2.58 12.04
A1 0.25-.42 269 18.3 78 32.5 0.66 0.78 2.24 11.74
A2 0.42-0.66 225 17.2 89 23.7 0.56 0.74 2.26 8.62
A3 0.66-0.95 218 13.4 100 17.1 0.56 0.76 2.18 9.40
A4 0.95-1.20 107 12.9 56 16.8 0.40 0.58 1.34 5.38
C 1.20-1.50+ 77 12.8 22 16.5 0.34 0.48 1.08 4.40
Pedon 6. Fine - loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.18 399 25.3 168 35.2 0.88 0.68 4.32 10.82
Bw1 0.18-0.48 229 13.8 89 30.0 0.86 0.62 2.90 8.78
Bw2 0.48-0.81 166 8.1 123 21.2 0.78 0.52 2.74 8.48
Bw3 0.81-1.11 158 7.8 145 17.5 0.72 0.44 1.56 7.68
C1 1.11-1.35 99 7.1 56 16.8 0.52 0.34 1.88 6.04
C2 1.35-1.54+ 77 5.0 56 12.5 0.50 0.28 1.82 5.84
Pedon 7. Fine, smectitic, iso-hyperthermic, Vertic Haplustepts
Ap 0.00-0.15 428 14.8 212 32.8 0.86 0.98 3.92 17.24
A1 0.15-0.35 266 13.8 168 31.8 0.46 0.46 2.80 16.54
Bw1 0.35-0.48 255 7.2 145 30.0 0.74 0.44 2.74 10.8
Bw2 0.48-0.62 188 6.0 123 23.7 0.84 0.38 2.68 8.58
Bw3 0.72-1.02 170 5.6 112 17.1 0.28 0.38 2.58 7.78
Bw4 1.02-1.50+ 144 5.0 190 16.5 0.22 0.44 2.50 7.18
Pedon 8 Fine- loamy, mixed, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Rhodustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.16 288 13.7 89 29.6 0.42 0.76 4.42 10.04
Bt1 0.16-0.42 170 28.0 123 24.0 0.10 0.40 7.74 4.54
Bt2 0.42-0.68 85 10.6 134 13.1 0.10 0.66 5.84 4.54
C 0.68+Weathered gneiss mixed with soil
Pedon 9. Fine, kaolinitic, iso-hyperthermic, Typic Haplustalfs
Ap 0.00-0.18 425 16.8 190 32.5 0.90 0.54 4.34 8.76
AB 0.18-0.47 236 10.9 123 31.8 0.96 0.48 2.80 8.22
Bt1 0.47-0.73 144 10.4 112 24.1 0.48 0.44 2.24 7.72
Bt2 0.73-1.09 140 7.8 100 23.4 0.38 0.42 2.22 4.28
Bt3 1.09-1.38 99 7.2 168 15.0 0.16 0.32 2.16 4.28
Cr 1.38+Parent rock mixed with soil
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colour notation of 2.5 YR hue and value (moist) of 3
or less. Pedon 3 was grouped under Fluvents at sub-
order level due to irregular decrease in the organic
carbon from 25 cm to lithic contact and Ustifluvents
at great group level due to ustic soil moisture regime.
As this pedon did not show any inter-gradation with
any other taxa or any extra-gradation from the cen-
tral concept, therefore, it is logically classified as
Typic Ustifluvents at sub-group level. Pedon 5 had
an irregular decrease in organic carbon with depth
but have less than 2.0 g kg-1 organic carbon at 1.25
m depth. Hence, it is classified as Orthents and
Ustorthents at great group level due to ustic soil mois-
ture regime. Further, it was placed under Aquic
Ustorthents at sub-group level due to the aquic con-
ditions indicated by the presence of mottles with
chroma 2 or less.
Pedons 1, 6 and 7 were grouped under Ustepts
at sub-order level due to ustic soil moisture regime
and Haplustepts at great group level because these
pedons did not have either duripan or calcic horizon
and base saturation was more than 60%. Further, the
pedons 1, 6 and 7 did not have vertic properties and
lithic contact within 50 cm from the soil surface.
Hence, these three pedons (Pedons 1, 6 and 7) were
logically classified as Typic Haplustepts at sub-group
level.The pedons 4, 8 and 9 showed the presence of
argillic (Bt) sub-surface diagnostic horizon as evi-
denced by the fact that the illuvial horizon contains
Table 5. Interpretation of soils of Sivagiri micro-watershed
Pedon Land Description Major limitations Suggested land use
no. capability
class with
limitations
1 IIs Good cultivable land Did not have any major Climatically adopted double cropping
for sustainable limitations except high including legume in rotation with the addition
agriculture permeability to water of optimum dose of fertilizers and manures.
Sugarcane can also be grown
2 IVs Fairly good cultivable Sandy texture, excessive Addition of tank silt (Pond mud) is
land for sustainable drainage, low water holding recommended and very careful soil and water
agriculture capacity and poor nutrient management practices could be followed
holding capacity
3 IIIes Moderately good Gentle slope with moderate Suitable for mango, pulses, oilseeds and
cultivable land for erosion, moderate run off vegetables
sustainable agriculture and high permeability
4 IIIes Moderately good Gentle slope with moderate Suitable for mango, pulses, oilseeds and
cultivable land for erosion, moderate run-off vegetables
sustainable agriculture and high permeability
5 IIs Good cultivable land Slight erosion and high Climatically adopted double cropping
for sustainable permeability including legume in rotation with the
agriculture addition of optimum dose of fertilizers and
manures. Sugarcane can also be grown
6 IIs Good cultivable land Slight erosion and high Climatically adopted double cropping
for sustainable permeability including legume in rotation with the
agriculture addition of optimum dose of fertilizers and
manures. Sugarcane can also be grown.
7 IIIw Moderately good Slight erosion Double cropping including legume in
cultivable land for poor drainage, poor soil rotation with proper drainage facilities.
sustainable agriculture aeration and severe soil
tillage problems
8 IIIes Moderately good Gentle slope with moderate Suitable for horticultural crops like mango,
cultivable land for erosion, moderate run-off sapota, guava and pomegranate
sustainable agriculture and high permeability
9 IIIes Moderately good Gentle slope with moderate Sugarcane, pulses and oil seeds can be
cultivable land for erosion and moderate run-off grown. Horticultural crops like mango
sustainable agriculture preferable
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20 JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY OF SOIL SCIENCE [Vol. 53
1.2 times more clay than the eluvial horizon and also
had base saturation more than 35% throughout the
profile. However, these pedons were classified as
Ustalfs at sub-order lever due to the presence of
ustic soil moisture regime. The pedons (4 & 8) were
classified as Rhodustalfs at great group level because
the argillic horizon exhibited a hue of 2.5 YR and
moist value of 3. These pedons (4 and 8) have not
shown lithic contact within 50 cm from the surface
and had dry period more than 120 cumulative days
per year, hence these pedons were classified as Typic
Rhodustalfs at sub-group level. However, Pedon 9
did not have duripan, plinthite, kandic, natric, or
petrocalcic horizons and the argillic horizon did not
exhibit a hue of 2.5 YR, hence pedon 9 was logically
classified as Haplustalfs at great group level. Finally,
the pedon 9 was classified into Typic Haplustalf at
sub-group level due to the absence of lithic or
paralithic contact, cracks, pumice like fragments, vol-
canic ash, lamellae and calcic horizon and also due to
the presence of argillic horizon with >75 base satura-
tion and iso-hyperthermic temperature regime.
Land Capability Classification
The land capability classification is an interpre-
tative grouping of different soil units into different
classes based on their limitations and potentials and
designed to emphasize the hazards in different kinds
of soils. It serves as a guide to assess the suitability
of the land for arable crops, grazing and forestry.
The grouping of soils into capability classes and sub-
classes is done mainly based on severity of limita-
tions viz., erosion risk (e), wetness (w), rooting zone,
soils (s) and climatic limitations (c).
Based on these criteria, the soils of Sivagiri mi-
cro-watershed have been classified into three land
capability sub-classes for better management of lands.
The pedons 1, 5 and 6 of Sivagiri micro-watershed
were placed in the land capability class IIs, whereas
the pedons 3, 4, 8 and 9 were kept in IIIes. Pedon 7
alone was placed in IIIw and pedon 2 was placed in
IVs. The detailed description of land capability classes
with potentials, limitations and suggested land use is
given in the table 5. By adopting suggested land use
in the respective areas sustained crop production can
be achieved as it helps in the conservation of soil and
water besides the improvement of physical properties
of soils.
Conclusion
The study of morphological, physical and
physico-chemical analysis of soil samples revealed
that the soils of Sivagiri micro-watershed were
slightly acidic to moderately alkaline in soil reaction,
non-saline and low to medium in organic carbon con-
tent. Further CEC was also low to medium and ex-
change complex was dominated by Ca2+. Regarding
nutrient status, the soils were low to medium in avail-
able N, P and K and high in available S. Further, the
soils were deficient in iron, deficient to sufficient in
available zinc and sufficient in available copper and
manganese. The soils of micro-watershed were clas-
sified upto sub-group level. Based on the soil proper-
ties land capability classes were fixed and suitable
land use plan was also suggested for sustaining yields
of the crops in the Sivagiri micro-watershed.
Acknowledgement
The first author is thankful to the ICAR for
providing financial assistance in the form of Junior
Research Fellowship during the course of investiga-
tion. Further, the authors are highly grateful to Dr.
Jagdish Prasad, Senior Scientist, NBSS& LUP for his
help in giving suggestions during editing of this manu-
script.
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Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp 21-28 (2005)
Received April 2001; Accepted February 2005
Characteristics, Classification and Management of Aridisols of Punjab
RAJ-KUMAR, B.D. SHARMA, P.S. SIDHU AND J.S.BRAR
Department of Soils, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, 141 004
Abstract: Morphological, physical and chemical characteristics of Aridisols occurring on two dominant
landscape positions viz., inter-dunal areas and alluvial terraces in the south-west Punjab have been
investigated. The soils developed on inter-dunal areas are coarse textured, calcareous, and show the
development of a structural B horizon and are classified as Ustic Haplocambids. On the other hand,
soils developed on alluvial terraces are relatively finer in texture, calcareous to non-calcareous and
show the development of cambic and calcic horizons and are classified as Ustic Haplocambids and
Typic Haplocalcids. All the soils have mixed mineralogy and hyperthermic temperature regimes.
Topography, along with nature of parent material and time were found to be responsible for the
pedogenic differences in the soils developed on different landforms within the comparable climatic
conditions. Mineralogical, physical and chemical properties and land use limitations of these soils are
discussed. Low and erratic rainfall is the major constraint for sustaining crop growth. Poor quality
underground irrigation water further limits the selection of crops. Regular failure of cotton crop in
these areas due to waterlogging and availability of good quality canal water, has led to large scale
shift in cropping pattern from cotton-wheat to rice–wheat. Use of underground saline water for
sustaining paddy growth is increasing surface salinity in these areas. (Key words: Aridisols, soil
characteristics, calcic horizon, cambic horizon, mixed mineralogy)
Aridisols occur in the arid and semi-arid environment
and occupy 36% of the earth’s surface (Shantz
1956). Aridisols have one or more pedogenic hori-
zons that might have formed in the present environ-
ment, or may be relict from a former fluvial period.
A few Aridisols are in semi-arid region and are dry
... In general, the soils were slightly acidic to slightly alkaline in reaction. The pH of the soils in the study area was within the range as reported by (Thangasamy et al. 2005;Alaie and Gupta, 2019). Relatively higher pH value was found at Tulwari village which could be ascribed due to comparatively less leaching loses of bases. ...
... In general soils are noncalcareous in nature. The calcium carbonate content of the soils in the study area is within the ranges as reported by Thangasamy et al. (2005). The low content of calcium carbonate in the surface soils can be attributed due to leaching of calcium carbonates to sub-surface layer of soils. ...
... The soils were medium to high in available potassium. The higher values of potassium could be attributed to illitic nature of these soils which is further supported by the dominance of illitic clay in these soils Thangasamy et al. (2005). Similar findings were reported by (Gupta et al. 1998;Bhola and Mishra, 1998). ...
Article
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Background: The assessments of the available nutrient status of maize growing soils are essential to generate baseline information regarding efficiency of nutrient availability in order to improve yield and maintain soil health. The information generated would be useful for the subsequent research and developmental activities in these areas and shall guide in assessing the possible cause of low yield and quality of maize production. Methods: Fertility assessment of major maize growing soils for district Kupwara was carried out during 2016. Twenty (20) composite surface soil samples at representative sites were collected and investigated for the available nutrient status and chemical properties Result: The soils were slightly acidic to slightly alkaline in reaction (6.1-7.4). The soils of the study area were high in organic carbon content (0.7 to 1.4%), were low in soluble salts (0.11-0.35 dSm-1) and calcium carbonate content (0.08 to 0.15%). The available nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium were ranged from 295.24 to 510.00 kg ha-1 , 10.03 to 20.36 kg ha-1 , 131.00 to 165.30 kg/ha, respectively. The pH of the soils determined has a negative and significant correlation with available nitrogen (r =-0.915*) and phosphorous (r =-0.931*). A significant and negative correlation of calcium carbonate was observed with available nitrogen (r =-0.871*) and phosphorous (r =-0.906). The organic carbon content shows significant and positive correlation with available nitrogen (r = 0.936*), phosphorous (r = 0.986*), respectively.
... Available K2O content varies from 171.90 to 403 kg/ha. The highest available K content was observed in the surface horizons and showed a decreasing trend with depth which might be attributed to more intense weathering and release of labile K from organic residues (Thangasamy et al. 2005) [19] . ...
... Available K2O content varies from 171.90 to 403 kg/ha. The highest available K content was observed in the surface horizons and showed a decreasing trend with depth which might be attributed to more intense weathering and release of labile K from organic residues (Thangasamy et al. 2005) [19] . ...
Article
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Typical pedons representing major landforms of Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone of Assam viz., rolling uplands, hill side slopes, alluvial plain, peidmont plains, hillocks and inselbergs developed from shale, quartzite, granite, gneiss and alluvium deposited by rivers occurring under forest cover were characterized, classified and assessed using geospatial technology, field survey and laboratory analysis. The soils were slightly deep to very deep, poorly drained to well drained, strongly acidic to slightly acidic in reaction, organic carbon content varied from low to high. Exchange sites were dominated by Ca 2+ and Mg 2+ followed by K + and Na +. CEC ranges from 0.1 to 15.66 Cmol(P +)/kg and base saturation varies from 14.56 to 73.20%. The soils were low to high in available N, low in available phosphorus and medium to high in available potassium content. The soils were classified as Aeric Endoaquents, Dystric Eutrudepts, Fluventic Dystrudepts, Fluventic Eutrudepts, Oxic Dystrudepts, Oxyaquic Dystrudepts, Typic Kanhapludalfs and Typic Udorthents. The soils were having hyperthermic temperature regime, mixed mineralogy and aquic to udic moisture regime. Alfisols were found to be the most dominant soil (57%) followed by Entisols (31%) and Inceptisols (12%). The study revealed that soil properties like profile development, texture, structure, colour, soil acidity, CEC, base saturation, etc. were influenced by landform.
... The colour of sub-soil horizons was dark brown (7.5YR) to reddish brown (5YR), dark reddish brown (2.5YR) and red (2.5YR 4/6) in moist as well as in dry condition. Brownish to red or reddish colour of the soil sub-surface horizons and its variations down the profile may be dependent on the release of iron, its degree of oxidation, hydration etc. (Thangasamy et al., 2005) [12] . Texture of the sub-surface horizons varied from clay loam to silty loam in case of pedon 1 and varied from clay loam to clay for pedon 2. In case of pedon 2 notable increase in finer fractions with the depth of the soil mainly due to eluviation and illuviation processes operated in the pedons resulting in the formation of a distinct argillic horizon in the subsurface horizons and same designated as Bt in the sub-surface horizons (Narsaiah et al., 2018) [6] . ...
... The colour of sub-soil horizons was dark brown (7.5YR) to reddish brown (5YR), dark reddish brown (2.5YR) and red (2.5YR 4/6) in moist as well as in dry condition. Brownish to red or reddish colour of the soil sub-surface horizons and its variations down the profile may be dependent on the release of iron, its degree of oxidation, hydration etc. (Thangasamy et al., 2005) [12] . Texture of the sub-surface horizons varied from clay loam to silty loam in case of pedon 1 and varied from clay loam to clay for pedon 2. In case of pedon 2 notable increase in finer fractions with the depth of the soil mainly due to eluviation and illuviation processes operated in the pedons resulting in the formation of a distinct argillic horizon in the subsurface horizons and same designated as Bt in the sub-surface horizons (Narsaiah et al., 2018) [6] . ...
Article
In Karnataka rice is grown under a variety of soils and wide range of rainfall and temperature. A study was carried out to characterize and classify the rice-growing soils of hilly zones of Karnataka. Two pedons each from Haliyal taluk of Uttara Kannada district and Hangal taluk from Haveri district were selected for the study. Haliyal soils (pedon 1) were deep (>120 cm), moderate, medium, sub-angular blocky in structure, dark brown (7.5YR) in colour, clay loam to silt loam in texture, strongly acidic to slightly acidic in reaction, low CEC (16.60 to 21.50 cmol (p+) kg-1 soil) and medium to high base saturation. Hangal soils (pedon 2) were very deep (>160cm), moderate, medium, sub-angular blocky in structure, dark brown to reddish brown or red (7.5YR-5YR-2.5YR) in colour, clay loam to clay in texture, strongly acidic to slightly acidic in reaction, low CEC (10.20 to 14.60 cmol (p+) kg-1 soil) and medium to high base saturation. Haliyal soils were classified as Aquic Haplustepts and Hangal soils as Oxyaquic Haplustalfs at subgroup level.
... These differences in water holding capacity could be attributed to variations in depth, clay, silt and organic carbon content of the pedons. The results were coincided with those of Singh et al. (1999) in soils of Ramganga catchment in Uttar Pradesh and Thangasamy et al. (2005) in soils of Sivagiri micro-watershed in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. ...
... The lower pH values observed in most of the surface horizons compared to sub-surface horizons, it might be due to continuous removal of basic cations by crop plants or movement of basic cations to deeper layers and release of organic acids during decomposition of organic matter. Similar results were obtained by Thangasamy et al. (2005). The variation in pH may be attributed to the nature of the parent material, leaching, presence of calcium carbonate and exchangeable sodium. ...
Article
Full-text available
Fourteen typical pedons representing major maize growing soils of Andhra Pradesh occurs in different physiographic units, which were formed from fluvial and coastal sediments were studied for their physico-chemical, physical and chemical properties of soils.The soils were neutral to slightly alkaline and non-saline to slightly saline in nature. Organic carbon and calcium carbonate contents ranged from 0.02 to 0.93 and 0.18 to 9.05 per cent, respectively.The sand, silt and clay contents ranged from 6.24 to 94.76, 0.48 to 34.33 and 3.76 to 69.58 per cent, respectively and texture of the soils ranged from sandy to clay. The water holding capacity of the soils varied from 15.29 to 71.75 per cent. The bulk density, particle density and pore space of soils varied 1.20 to 1.64 Mg m-3 , 2.41 to 2.69 Mg m-3 and 37.40 and 52.57 per cent, respectively.The cation exchange capacity of the soils varied from 3.37 to 66.20 cmol (p+) kg-1 and fine textured pedons recording high values ranging from 39.11 to 66.20 cmol (p+) kg-1 comparedto coarse textured soils. The exchange complex was dominated by calcium followed by magnesium, sodium and potassium. The per cent base saturation of Krishna delta soils varied from 75.99 to 99.94 per cent. The CEC/ clay ratio of soils ranged from 0.70 to 0.99indicating the dominance of smectite in clay fraction.
... Many researchers reported reduced solubility of majority of zinc and there by decreased availability of zinc under alkaline soil conditions. The alkaline soil condition could be the cause of zinc deficiency in the study area (Thangasamy et al., 2005) [6] . The available zinc was sufficient in the surface samples because the soils were not subjected to intensive cultivation (Rajashekar, 2018) [4] . ...
... Many researchers reported reduced solubility of majority of zinc and there by decreased availability of zinc under alkaline soil conditions. The alkaline soil condition could be the cause of zinc deficiency in the study area (Thangasamy et al., 2005) [6] . The available zinc was sufficient in the surface samples because the soils were not subjected to intensive cultivation (Rajashekar, 2018) [4] . ...
Research
Full-text available
Mapping of soil fertility status was carried out on the soils of Chikkadevarahalli micro-watershed (488.75 ha) from 2019 to 2021. Total 48 surface soil samples at 320 × 320 m grid intervals samples at 0 to 15 cm depths were collected and analyzed for its totally fertility status and were mapped using Arc GIS software. The mapping the status of soils of Chikkadevarahalli micro-watershed indicated that the soil was low (69.96%) to medium (24.29%) in available nitrogen, low (5.70%) to high (28.74%) in available phosphorus, medium (62.72%) to high (30.93%) in available potassium, low (1.18%) to high (40.39%) in available sulfur, whereas exchangeable calcium and magnesium were found to be sufficient. DTPA extractable zinc was sufficient in 304 ha (62.25%) to deficient in 153 ha (31.40%) area. Whereas DTPA extractable iron, manganese, copper was sufficient. Available boron was low (62.25%) to medium (62.25%) in the study area.
... The most probable reasons for these variations in the study area may be the difference in topography, slope gradient and parent material. Similarly,Thangasamy et al. (2005) reported that variation in soil texture may be caused by variation in parent material, topography, in situ weathering and translocation of clay. Soils of lower elevation sites had higher clay content than higher elevations(Sitanggang et al., 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
The research was aimed to evaluate the physical and chemical properties of soil at Bichi Local Government Kano State, Nigeria. A soil profile was dug at the Eastern and Western parts of the area under study, georeferenced using Global Positioning System (GPS). Site characteristics such as gradient, erosion, natural drainage, natural vegetation and land use were recorded. Soil profile morphological characteristics were studied including soil texture, structure, porosity and bulk density. From the soil profile, disturbed soil samples were taken from designated genetic horizons for physical and chemical analysis in the laboratory. Undisturbed cores samples were taken for the determination of bulk density. For soil fertility evaluation composite soil samples from the 0-30cm depth were collected from the sites. The results of the particle size distribution, bulk density and total porosity revealed that the textural class of the study area is dominantly sandy clay loam in the lower horizons whereas sandy loam in the upper horizons. The highest bulk density and total porosity values were recorded in horizon AP and the lowest values were recorded in horizon BC respectively. The maximum numerical values of Soil pH, electrical conductivity, cation exchange capacity, available phosphorous, total nitrogen, and organic carbon contents of the soil were obtained from horizon AP while the minimum numerical values were obtained from horizon BC. It, therefore, concluded that the soil of the study area has poor physical conditions and low levels of chemical fertility status. Organic amendment should be applied to the soils for improvement of the physical and chemical conditions of the soils.
... Natural foliage comprises of Tridax procumbens, Parthenium hysterophorus, Prosopis juliflora, Pongamiapinneta, Acacia auriculiformis, Calotropis gigantia, Cynodondactylon, Commalina bengalensis, Cyprus rotundus, Azadirachta indica plays major role in weathering of dolomite and granite-gneiss. Red soils recorded higher ion exchange because of its natural vegetation such as grasses and tree species likely Prosopis juliflora, botanical name of mango and neemwhich releases root exudates into soil colloids which facilitates ion exchange and its uptake (Thangasamy et al., 2015). Sreedhar and Naidu (2016) stated that semi-arid region of Chennur Mandal Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh comprises of Azadirachta indica, Acacia nilotica, Cynodondactylon, Parthenium hysterophorus, Tephrosia purpurea, Calotropis gigantia, Amaranthus viridis, Cyprus rotundusandPongamiapinnetahad influenced in formation of soil due to chemical and biological weathering factors. ...
Article
Full-text available
Soil forming factors act as a central core in soil science which covers the soil system, environmental system and physiographic features. Soil forming factors is related parallel with morphological characteristics, physical and chemical properties of soil. Soil forming factors are constant but their products are dynamic, because it varied depends on the location with respect to climatic factor, environmental factor and type of parent material. Parent rock undergoes weathering via soil forming factors and produce varied types of soil with respect their characteristics. Morphological characteristics gave a prelude idea about any type of soil virtually. Based on the eye sight assessment of soil type survey and the soil data are recorded by means of pedological investigations.
... Consistency under dry condition was varying from slightly hard (Bt1) to very hard (Bt6C) but under moist condition it was friable. The consistency under wet condition was slightly sticky to slightly plastic, this physical behaviour of soils influenced by dry, moist and wet conditions was not only due to the textural make up but also due to type of clay minerals present in these soils, [11,12]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The climate change and land degradation are both individually and in combination have profound influence on natural resource based livelihood systems and societal groups, but this land degradation is caused by land use changes and unsustainable management. The different land use systems practiced in southern agro-climatic zones of Karnataka have significant impact on soil carbon and fertility status of soils, a study was carried out to characterize and classify the soils of southern agro-climatic zones of Karnataka. Five pedons, one from each agro-climatic zone from cultivated land use were selected for the study. Soils of Hiriyur pedons were moderately shallow and rest were deep to very deep, red, well drained and appreciable amount of gravels were observed in all the pedons. Clay illuviation in subsoil layers was observed hence subsoil layer contained more clay than surface. The soil texture varied from sandy clay loam to sandy clay and clay. Bulk density of soil varied from 0.86 to 1.86 Mgm-3 in the surface. In all the profiles, bulk density increased with depth. Soil reaction varied from very strongly acidic to moderately acidic in Balehonnur and Brahmavara, moderately acidic to neutral in Hassan and Tiptur, neutral to moderately alkaline in Hiriyur. Cation exchange capacity was low and exchange complex was Original Research Article Pradeep et al.; IJECC, 11(12): 119-129, 2021; Article no.IJECC.77078 120 dominated by hydrogen and aluminum. Dominant cations were calcium and magnesium hence base saturation was high in the pedons due to leaching of bases and deposition in sub-surface horizons within the solum except in Brahmvara and Balehonnur was observed.
Article
Potassium fixation capacity of soil with their physico-chemical, physical and chemical nature of surface and sub-surface soils of Ballia district was analysed from different village's soil samples. Potassium fixation capacity of surface soil was ranges from 40.4-136.3 % and sub-surface soil ranged from 56.2-116.2 % of targated distingushed village soils with their nature as soil pH of surface soil ranged from 7.55-8.03 and sub-surface soil 7.21-8.35 and where EC was in considerable range in both depth, Organic carbon content varied from 0.37-1.20 % in suface soil and 0.18-0.60 % in sub-surface soil, Available N, P and K content in surface soil from 221.2-347.6 kg ha-1 , 9.74-14.85 kg ha-1 , 201.6-436.8 kg ha-1 and sub-surface soil ranged from 158.0-293.8 kg ha-1 , 8.74-12.81kg ha-1 , 246.4-414.4 kg ha-1 , the textural class of those soils varied from loamy sand to clay loam respectively.
Research
Full-text available
The land survey was undertaken to study the vertical distribution of plant nutrients in the soil profiles/ pedons in groundnut growing areas of Varathuru watershed in Chittoor district to understand nutrient supply capacity of soils. The results revealed that plant available P and K in these soils were sufficient in the surface and subsurface horizons of all pedons except pedon 2 , wherein, P was deficient in the subsurface horizon. Exchangeable Ca and Mg and available S were sufficient in surface and subsurface soils of all pedons except pedon 3 wherein S was deficient in surface horizon. The available S and exchangeable Ca and Mg in pedons 1 and 4 were high in surface horizons than in subsurface horizons and pedons 2, 3 and 5 showed an inconsistent trend with depth. The DTPA�extractable Cu and Mn in these soils were found to be above critical limits in surface and subsurface horizons in all the pedons except in pedons 1 and 5 for Cu in subsurface horizons and Mn in surface horizon in pedon 4. The available Zn was deficient in all the pedons except pedons 2 and 5 in surface horizons and the available Fe was found to be above critical limits in surface horizons in all the pedons and below critical limit in subsurface horizons in pedons 2 and 4. All the micronutrients were higher in surface soils than for subsurface soils except in pedon 5 for Zn and Cu, pedons 1 and 5 for Fe and pedon 3 for Mn. Key Words: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, Organic carbon, pH, Subsoil, Surface soil
Characteristics and classification of soils of Loktak command area of Manipur for sustainable land use planning
  • Sarkar Dipak
  • U Baruah
  • S K Gangopadhyay
  • A K Sahoo
  • M Velayutham
Sarkar Dipak, Baruah, U., Gangopadhyay, S.K., Sahoo, A.K. and Velayutham, M. (2002) Characteristics and classification of soils of Loktak command area of Manipur for sustainable land use planning. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science 50, 196-204.
Nutrient status of some red and associated soils of Nellore District under Somasila Project in Andhra Pradesh
  • P Prasuna Rani
  • R N Pillai
  • V Bhanu Prasad
  • G V Subbaiah
Prasuna Rani, P., Pillai, R.N., Bhanu Prasad, V. and Subbaiah, G.V. (1992) Nutrient status of some red and associated soils of Nellore District under Somasila Project in Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Agricultural Journal 39, 1-5.
Outlook on Agriculture as quoted by W A Blockhuis Morphology and Genesis of Vertisols. In Vertisols and Rice Soils of Tropics, Symposia of 12 th International Congress of Soil Science
  • T N Jewitt
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  • K J Virgo
Jewitt, T.N., Law, R.D. and Virgo, K.J. (1979) Outlook on Agriculture as quoted by W A Blockhuis Morphology and Genesis of Vertisols. In Vertisols and Rice Soils of Tropics, Symposia of 12 th International Congress of Soil Science, New Delhi.
Characterisation and classification of soils of lower Palar-Manimuthar watershed of
  • V Arunkumar
  • S Natarajan
  • R Sivasamy
Arunkumar,V., Natarajan, S. and Sivasamy, R.(2002) Characterisation and classification of soils of lower Palar-Manimuthar watershed of Tamilnadu. Agropedology 12, 97-103.
Distribution of micronutrient cations in Vertisols derived from different parent materials
  • I Y L N Murthy
  • T G Sastry
  • S C Datta
  • G Narayanasamy
  • R K Rattan
Murthy, I.Y.L.N., Sastry, T.G, Datta, S.C., Narayanasamy, G. and Rattan, R.K. (1997) Distribution of micronutrient cations in Vertisols derived from different parent materials. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science 45, 577-580.
Characteristics and classification of some soils of Trans-Yamuna plains
  • C S Walia
  • Y S Rao
Walia, C.S. and Rao, Y.S. (1997) Characteristics and classification of some soils of Trans-Yamuna plains. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science 45, 156-162.