What are the Characteristics of Black Soil?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The characteristic of black soil includes that it is dark, rich in humus, and highly concentrated in phosphoric acid, phosphorus, and ammonia. Iron, lime, calcium, potassium, aluminum, and magnesium are also abundant. These soils are excellent for growing various crops as they are very productive. Cotton is the most important crop grown on black soil. The Russian word chernozem means “black soil.”

Characteristics of Black Soil

Due to the weathering of lava rocks and the presence of significant amounts of iron, alumina, and magnesia, this soil is dark in color. Black soil is sticky when wet and cracks when dry because it contains high amounts of calcium, carbonate, and potassium and retains moisture well.

The black soil produced by volcanic eruptions is incredibly productive and suitable for intensive farming. The characteristics of black soil are described below:

  • High fertility and soil-like texture.
  • Lime, potash, magnesium, calcium carbonate, and potassium are abundant, but nitrogen and phosphorus are scarce.
  • Extremely water-resistant, incredibly dense, and firm when wet.
  • When dry, the material shrinks and forms deep, wide cracks.
  • Low in organic content, high in carbon exchange capacity, and neutral to mildly alkaline in reaction.

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