Earth Science

Surface Processes and Landforms

Types of Soils

Study Tip
The Al in pedalfer is the chemical symbol of the element aluminum. The Fe in pedalfer is the chemical symbol for iron. Both of these metals are commonly found in this type of soil.

Types of Soil

  • There are thousands of types of soil, each with their own characteristics and names.
  • Soil that isn’t weathered much is usually thinner and rich in nutrients; heavily weathered soil is very thick yet nutrient-poor.
Study Tip
Study Tip
The same way a person may cast a shadow over another person when they stand under the sun, planets or celestial bodies that have aligned themselves cast shadows over one another as well.
The Al in pedalfer is the chemical symbol of the element aluminum. The Fe in pedalfer is the chemical symbol for iron. Both of these metals are commonly found in this type of soil.

Three Major Types

Three types of soil
Description
Image
Pedalfer
Found in moist forest areas especially in many areas of the temperate, eastern part of the United States.  
Dark brown and black color comes from aluminum clay and iron oxide. Very fertile. A great deal of rainfall is common in is climate.
Pedalfer
Pedocal
Found in dry, temperate areas where grasslands and brush are the main forms of vegetation.
Unique due to its calcite layer formed from calcium carbonate.
There is less chemical weathering compared to pedalfer soils, resulting in its lower fertility.
Pedocal
Laterite
Found in tropical regions, nutrient poor due to chemical weathering, which strips the soil of its nutrients. Usually red from the iron oxide left behind.
There is practically no humus since much of the soluble minerals are stripped away.
Laterite

Earth Science

Climate and Soil Type

  • The types of soil present in a certain area are heavily dependent on the area’s climate conditions.
  • Where there is less weathering, soils are thinner but soluble minerals are more present
  • Soil development may take hundreds to thousands of years for good topsoil to form.
Concept Check
  • Under which conditions do each of the three soil types discussed form?
  • What do you think the elements and chemicals in the soil have to do with the soil’s fertility?