Black Soil in India and its importance

black soil

Black soil, also known as ‘Regur Soil’ or the ‘Black Cotton Soil’ is highly productive and fertile soil found in India.

Key features of Black Soil in India

1. Black soil covers most of the Deccan Plateau which includes parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andra Pradesh, Gujarat, and some parts of Tamil Nadu.
2. These soils are generally clayey, deep, and impermeable (doesn’t allow water to pass through it).
3. The color of these soil ranges from deep black to grey.
4. They swell and become sticky when wet and shrink when dried.
5. This gives rise to wide cracks during the dry season and hence these soils are kind of ‘self ploughing’ soils.
6. Black soil displays the characteristics of slow ‘absorption’ and a slow ‘loss of moisture’ which helps in retaining moisture for a very long time and thus helps the crops, especially, the rain-fed ones, to sustain even during the dry season.
7. The black soils are rich in lime, iron, magnesia, and alumina. They also contain potash.
8. They lack in phosphorous, nitrogen, and organic matter.

Alluvial Soil in India and its importance


Alluvial Soil is the most productive and most widespread category of soil found in India.

Key features of Alluvial Soil in India

1. Alluvial Soils cover about 40 percent of the total area of the country.
2. They are depositional soils which means that they are transported and deposited by the rivers and streams.
3. Alluvial soils are found majorly along the Gangetic and Brahmaputra plains making the area highly fertile.
4. The Color of the alluvial soils varies from light grey to ash grey its shades depend on the depth of the deposition, the texture of the materials, and the time taken for attaining maturity.
5. Khadar and Bhangar are the two different types of alluvial soil that have developed in the Upper and Middle Ganga Plain.
6. Khadar is the new alluvium which is deposited annually by floods. It enriches the soil by depositing fine slits.
7. Bhangar, on the other hand, represents a system of older alluvium deposited away from the flood plain.
8. Both Khadar and Bhangar soils contain calcareous concretions (Kankars).
9. The sand content in alluvial soil decreases from west to east.
10. These soils are more loamy and clayey in the lower and middle Ganga plain and the Brahmaputra valley.
11. These soils are rich in potash but poor in phosphorous. Humus, lime, and organic matters are present in alluvial soil.
12. The major crops cultivated are Wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane, pulses, oilseed, et.

What is River Basin and Watersheds?


A river basin is an area drained by a river and its tributaries. It simply means that the area through which the river and its tributaries collect water and flow through its course of the journey from origin to the destination is known as River Basin.

The area from which water flows into the main river (or river drains the water) is called ‘Catchment Area’.

The Catchments of large rivers are known as “River Basins”

(River Basin is a type of Catchment)

For Example. the Ganga Basin is the area that is covered (drained) by the river Ganga and all its tributaries like Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Kosi, etc.

Watershed is defined as the boundary line separating one river or drainage basin from the other.

In simple terms, the Catchment Area of small rivers (rivulets and rills) is known as Watershed.

So, the difference between a River Basin and a Watershed is that River Basin cover large areas whereas Watershed cover small areas.

Classification of Indian Drainage System

Basis of ClassificationClassification
Discharge of Water1. Arabian Sea Drainage
2. Bay of Bengal Drainage
Size of Watershed1. Major river basins with more than 20,000 sq. km of Catchment area.
2.Medium river basins with Catchment area between 2,000 – 20,000 sq. km
3.Minor River basins with less than 2,000 sq. km of Catchment area.
Mode of Origin, nature
and Characteristics
1. Himalayan Drainage
2. Peninsular Drainage

West Flowing Major Rivers in India


Major (and important) West flowing rivers in India are –

RiversStates/UTs it passes through
JhelumJammu and Kashmir
ChenabJammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh
RaviJammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh
BeasHimachal Pradesh, Punjab
SutlejHimachal Pradesh, Punjab
SabarmatiRajasthan, Gujarat
MahiMadhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat
NarmadaMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat
TapiMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat

What are West Flowing rivers in India?

West flowing river simply means that the rivers after passing through a state or different states fall into Arabian Sea on the west.

The only exception to this is the River Luni, which flows westward after originating in Rajasthan, but ends in the marshy lands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.