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on distinguishing characteristics developed during soil genesis as well as criteria that dictate choices in land use and soil management. It is also true that Pakistan’s soil can be classified regionally, or according to where it is found in the county. From that perspective, there are also six soil types: 1. Indus basin soils: The soils found along the current course of the Indus River are due to alluvial deposits made by that river depositing sediments every spring. 2. Bongar Soils: These soils are found in the historic Indus plain and are the best soils for agriculture in the country. Usually they’re far from the present-day bed of the Indus River. 3. Khaddar Soils: Also found along Pakistan’s rivers is this soil. It formed when, every year during flood, a new layer of salty clay was deposited. 4. Indus Delta Soils: These soils cover the current Indus River delta. Most of this soil is very clayey and was developed under seasonal floodwaters. 5. Mountain Soils: These rocky soils mostly cover the highlands of northern and western areas of Pakistan. 6. Sandy Desert Soils: These soils are made by the deposition of sand, layer by layer, year after year, for thousands of years. They’re found in the arid and semi-arid areas of Pakistan. Soil The upper layer of the earth which is composed of different thin rock particles is helpful in the growth of vegetation and plants that is called soil. Basic Components of Soil Soil has three basic components. 1. Solid particles like salt, mineral and organic matter. 2. Air. 3. Water. Importance of Soil The kind of soil totally depends upon climate, location, vegetation and rock material. The agriculture of a country depends upon her soil’s structure and kinds. Soil is a gift of nature. Alluvium Those materials which are transported from one place to another by rivers and deposited at other places are called alluvium. Aeolian Soil Similarly wind also transports the material from one place to another which is deposited over the surface that is called Aeolian Soil. Classification of Soils The soil of Pakistan may be classified according to the regional basis. Indus basin Soils
very shallow 5. They are made of disposition of sandy soil layer by layer Arid and semi-arid type of climate effect these soils. and sandy desert soils.6% Rock out-crop and loamy soils. These soils have more calcium carbonate and less organic matter. The soils of Pothwar plateau have high lime content.3% of Pakistan’s soils are composed of these six types of soil: 1. The area includes most of the part of Punjab. Rice is cultivated in the major part of these soils.4% Loamy-clayey soils 4. 30. Mardan. Bongar Soils Bongar soils cover a vast area of indus plain. They have moderate quantity of calcium carbonate. For the last thousands of years rivers have been depositing the soil in the form of layers. 11. So the economic activities are very low in deserts. They extent from Hyderabad to the south coastal area. Indus Delta Soils These soils cover the river Indus Delta. So every year new layer of salt clay is deposited. Usually these soils are far from the present rivers beds. Some of these soils are rich and irrigated give very good production. mountain soils. Sandy Desert Soils The soils cover the western areas of Balochistan. Whereas the soils of western mountainous areas have high content of calcium carbonate and low content of organic matter because the climate of these areas is arid and semi-arid. Bannu and Kachhi plain. They are formed by layers of sand particles. The soils of northern mountainous areas have high content of organic matters because the climate is moist. From a variety of sources: About 60% of Pakistan's total land area is classified as unusable for forestry or agriculture because it consists of deserts and mountains. These soils have low content of organic matter and salt. Most of the soils is clay and developed under floodwater.7% Rolling/hilly sandy soils 3. Khaddar Soils Khaddar soils are also formed along the rivers. Cholistan and the desert of Thar in Pakistan.2 The indus plain is made with the deposition of alluvium by the indus river its tributaries. 6. 14. A major part of the province of sindh is also comprised of these soils. Peshawar. 5. Pakistan’s soils are mostly dry and have high concentrations of calcium carbonate and a low content of organic matter. The major soil groupings are Indus basin soils. They are productive when plenty of water is available. These soils are divided into three main categories. Mountain Soils These soils mostly cover the highlands of northern and western areas of Pakistan. 74.8% Mainly loamy to partly gravelly soils .6% Mountain/Valley: Patchy soils that are a loamy-gravelly mix 2.
will affect the organic life of the soil and evaporation rates on the surface. vegetation and people. Soils in recent alluvial or windblown materials or soils on steep slopes where erosion has been active may show very little horizon development. Relief Different soils will form on different degrees of slope and aspect. drainage. Climate How much water and air enter the soil . climate. They are derived from an infinite variety of materials that have been subjected to a wide spectrum of climatic conditions. 2). Vegetation The type and quantity of plant cover will affect the amount of organic material added to the soil (humus). Soil development is influenced by the topography on which soils occur. relief. In many parts of Britain we have had only 10. 5. . Geology Minerals from the parent material are added to the soil by physical and chemical weathering. Soi1 scientists recognize five major factors that influence soil formation: 1) parent material.2% Loamy soils Various factors are involved in soil formation: time.000 years since the last Ice Age stripped the original surface soils away. or change the vegetation cover and/or drainage in an area. the greater the development of the soil profile. Gravity and temperatures will affect the degree of slope movement and weathering. 2) climate. Drainage Whether water can or cannot move through the soil easily will affect the development of the soil profile. the soil will also change. 4) topography and 5) time.3 6. FACTORS OF SOIL FORMATION Soils are natural expressions of the environment in which they were formed. Time Time is required for horizon formation. geology. The longer a soil surface has been exposed to soil forming agents like rain and growing plants. The combined influence of these soil-forming factors determines the properties of a soil and their degree of expression (fig. 3) living organisms (especially native vegetation).and their temperatures . People When people change the angle of a slope through construction. the plant and animal life which they support and the amount of time which they have been exposed to these conditions. Time It takes about 1000 years for one centimetre of soil to form.
such as carbonates. many original minerals are destroyed and many new ones are formed. ash from volcanos. deep rooted plants contribute more to soil development than shallow rooted plants because the passages they create allow greater water movement.4 Soils on older. and more clayey. Microscopic organisms and the humus they produce act as a kind of glue to hold soil particles together in aggregates. Soils become more leached. especially downwind from industrial processes. bacteria. insects. wetting. Rainfall can also be acid. sediments moved and deposited by wind and water. Rainfall causes leaching. Climate Climate is a major factor in determining the kind of plant and animal life on and in the soil. into usable forms for plants. Parent Material Parent material refers to organic (such as fresh peat) and mineral material in which soil formation begins. or ground up rock deposited by glaciers. stable surfaces generally have well defined horizons because the rate of soil formation has exceeded the rate of geologic erosion or deposition. Mineral material includes partially weathered rock. Organic matter decomposition is also accelerated in warm. the B horizons tend to become redder with time. Well-aggregated soil is ideal for providing the right combination of air and water to plant roots. Living organisms Plants affect soil development by supplying upper layers with organic matter. and transports them deeper into the soil. such as sulfur and nitrogen. Rain dissolves some minerals. Leaves. recycling nutrients from lower to upper layers. As soils age. determines the rate of chemical weathering. thawing. The opposite is true for cold. Under the control of climate freezing. twigs. clayey materials can be resistant to soil formation processes. The material has a strong effect on the type of soil developed as well as the rate at which development takes place. which in turn aids in leaching. moist climates. more acid. . and helping to prevent erosion. moist climates encourage rapid plant growth and thus high organic matter production. and drying break parent material apart. Animals living in the soil affect decomposition of waste materials and how soil materials will be moved around in the soil profile. and bark from large plants fall onto the soil and are broken down by fungi. Warm. through its influence on soil temperature. In general. These organisms eat and break down organic matter releasing plant nutrients. Some change certain elements. It determines the amount of water available for weathering minerals. and burrowing animals. earthworms. Dense. Some acid soils have developed from parent materials that originally contained limestone. dry climates. massive. transporting the minerals and releasing elements. Climate. In many well drained soils. Soil development may take place quicker in materials that are more permeable to water.
water. either through the soil or across the surface to a lower elevation. marble and many others break down into residuum (residue) through the weathering process. have not been cemented and consolidated into bedrock--thus. shape. Soil material and rock fragments may fall.) in depth. these materials occupy half of the land area. soils on slopes may erode leaving a thinner surface layer. It is this residuum that becomes the parent material of soil and imparts some of the parent characteristics into the resulting soil profile. slate. roll or slide downslope under the influence of gravity and water. organisms. Eroded soils tend to be less fertile and have less available water than uneroded soils of the same series. and it is referred to on the scorecard as recent alluvium. parent material. Often these sediments have been capped or coated with a thin (several cm to several m) veneer or sheet of material consisting mainly of silt (loess). Steepness. the name unconsolidated sediments. These fresh or recent deposits. If unprotected. These older sediments comprise the Coastal Plain along the Atlantic seaboard. This type of parent material exceeds 0.5 Bedrock such as limestone. Wetter areas may have reducing conditions that will inhibit proper root growth for plants that require a balance of soil oxygen. and most of their character is inherited from the parent material. When rain falls on a landscape. In Maryland. the soils never have time to form well-developed horizons. and nutrients. These soils were originally deposited by water and commonly have had time to form well-developed horizons. gneiss and schist. The wind may have carried this material from the glacial outwash areas before the rise in sea level that formed the Chesapeake Bay. The Coastal Plain soils are formed in these sediments and silt-cap parent materials. and length of slope are important because they influence the rate at which water flows into or off the soil. This incoherent mass of material that generally accumulates on the lower portion of slopes and in depressions is called colluvium. shale. although much older than the recent alluvium along streams. In the Mid-Atlantic region. Landscape position Landscape position causes localized changes in moisture and temperature. soils occurring on the upland portions of the Coastal Plain are considered to have Coastal Plain sediments as their parent materials on the scorecard. Rock fragments in colluvium generally are angular in contrast to the rounded waterworn cobbles and stones found in alluvium and glacial outwash. and thus are not influenced by deposition of fresh materials. comprise the parent materials for the soils developed on these floodplains. Therefore. large areas are underlain by the complex series of water-deposited sediments left by previous geologic events. and they comprise nearly all the parent material for Delaware soils and large segments of New Jersey. commonly topsoil. . Even though the landscape has the same soil-forming factors of climate. Soils located on stream terrace positions that contain water worn coarse fragments have parent materials referred to as old alluvium. These Coastal Plain sediments. granite. They never or rarely flood. Recent alluvium can and does occur on the Coastal Plain in the same landscape positions (along streams and rivers) as in other sections of the state. Therefore. sandstone. Since there is new material added almost annually. and time. water begins to move downward by the force of gravity. drier soils at higher elevations may be quite different from the wetter soils where water accumulates. these young soils have poorly developed profiles. Streams and rivers commonly overflow their banks and deposit fresh materials on the floodplains.5 m (20 in.
Most soil series have a rather limited range of position and land form. Generally. The organic content of the soil also varies. The ensuing discussion describes only the major soil-groupings of Pakistan. the landscape is divided into (1) upland. Terrace refers to soils developed in older alluvial materials above the zone of current flooding. but they have a flooding hazard that seriously limits their use for urban development or agriculture. (2) upland depression. the soils contain little organic matter. soils vary in their chemical composition. Soil is defined as that part of the unconsolidated material covering the surface of the earth which supports plant growth. Soils on north-facing slopes tend to have thicker A and B horizons and tend to be less droughty. As a result. soils on northfacing slopes tend to be cooler and wetter than soils on south-facing slopes. vegetation. Coarse textured soils are sandy. The type of soil formed is a function of topography. Soil texture varies with the size of the soil particles. Water tends to pond in these depressions. and (4) floodplain. Soils of Pakistan Indus Basin Soils . Upland depressions or waterways refer to soils developed on concave land forms or at the heads of drainage ways and along waterways where surface drainage is retarded. colour. Most soils can be classified into one of these landscape positions by observing the general surroundings in respect to streams or natural drainage systems. and ordinarily lying at higher elevations (than alluvial plains) on rolling and convex positions. Soil material transported and deposited by running water is termed alluvium. Soils of high organic content are darker in colour. Position Position generally refers to the point on the landscape where the soil is located. Factors in Soil Formation 2. minerals and organic matter). Areas unaffected by stream activity in recent geologic time. 1. These soils may be quite productive. are designated upland. while that transported and deposited by winds forms aeolian soil. air and water. Soil-forming processes are complex and continuous. and organic content from place to place. texture. and the parent rocks from which the soil material is derived. being largely dependent of the extent and type of the vegetative cover. Soils formed in situ are termed residual. The floodplains refer to areas near streams that flood periodically. and a mixture of sand and clay is called loam. and have more nutrients for plant growth than those of low organic content.6 Aspect affects soil temperature. Since most of Pakistan is arid or semi-arid. In figure 3. even within small areas. It has three major constituents: solid particles (salts. climate. fine textured soils are clayey. for most of the continental United States. (3) terrace. and the soils commonly have a darker and thicker surface horizon because of organic matter accumulations.
Bangar Soils cover a vast area in the Indus Plain. with low organic content. calcareous. but these can be reclaimed by simple leaching. Saline loamy soils cover most of the delta. These soils are also fertile when supplied with plenty of water and manure. With irrigation. In the Upper Chaj and Rechna Doabs. calcareous. producing a dissected landscape. Further north. but they are usually free of salts. and organic content low. cover about one-third of the area. shallow residual soils and silty eroded loess have been formed. being non-porous are difficult to reclaim. and low in organic content. under sub-humid conditions. strongly alkaline soil of patches have developed. In some ill-drained areas. shallow residual soils have developed. developed under flood water conditions. if supplied with plenty of irrigation water. these soils are relatively productive. there is more leaching. Some areas show a puffy salt layer at the surface. but very productive when irrigated and fertilized. In the sub-montane area of the Potwar Plateau. but. Over very small areas. the Bangar soils have developed under sub-humid conditions. and capillary action has carried salts to the surface. these soils are used for rice cultivation. Indus Delta Soils are formed of sub-recent alluvium and estuarine deposits. these soils have become waterlogged. and in the eastern Potwar. with plenty of water. . and are residual as well as transported. and have a slightly higher organic content. Khaddar Soils (new alluvium). and strongly gullied. Because of the higher rainfall. and sea-water creeks. and in the broken hill country. Under arid and semi-arid conditions. Lime content is high. these soils are usually strongly calcareous. except for a weedy vegetation. Khaddar soils are formed from recent and present-day deposits along the rivers.7 The Indus Basin comprises a vast area of alluvial plains deposited by the Indus and its tributaries. They cover the entire area of the Indus Delta from south of Hyderabad to the coat. and a higher organic content. have been reclaimed by simple leaching and better drainage. Part of these soils are flooded each year. Coastal estuarine deposits form the lower part of the Delta. the submontane area bordering the Peshawar-Mardan Plain. Some with salt crust at the surface. and Indus Delta Soils. In the mountain valleys. Extremely saline patches can be used only for poor grazing. Clayey soils. they have been leached of lime and are non-calcareous. which is a maze of tidal flats. of medium to fine texture. soils are formed from the alluvial infills of the streams. In the lowest parts of the inter-montane valleys and interior basins of the arid and semi-arid regions. These soils are deep. They are cultivated in patches only. and these. The organic content of these soils is low. and a small area of loess plains. Mardan. In places these soils are massive. Most of the material is sub-recent or recent in origin. adding depositional layers of silt loam and silty clay loam. Along the steep crests and slopes. and the greater part of the Sind Plain. including most of the Punjab. susceptible to erosion. Bannu and Kachhi plains. The soils are extremely saline and barren. basins. Pewahwar. Mountain SoilsMountain soils occur in the highland areas of the north and west. These soils are calcareous silt loams and sandy loams of low organic content. The soils can be divided into three major categories: Bangar Soils (old alluvium). low in organic matter. medium to fine textured.
The margins carry low shrubs and salt bush. We have to study it over many years. smaller pieces move to the surface and mix with the existing soil. For the most part. used for poor grazing. (4) In the same way that there are large geologic factors. This runoff winds up in valleys or in the ocean.8 strongly saline soils develop. They churn the pieces of soil. Also. They pop open with a cracking sound! (3) What's in the soil is dependent on geologic factors. The organic material is most important. Sandy Desert Soils The soils extend over some parts of western Baluchistan. There are tiny living organisms (like bacteria) that break down organic stuff. The "stuff" could be dead leaves or dead animals. Rocks and soil that hold water can be cracked when the water freezes and expands. The arid and semi-arid desert sand areas have few possibilities for improvement. Here are five of the most important factors involved in soil formation. the sides of the mountains are said to have a slope. Moisture and rain combine with the temperature to do amazing things to rocks. You need time to make soil. if we pollute our soil we can't renew it in our lifetime. (5) Soil is also created by biological factors. As the bedrock breaks down. Sediment can move around quickly but it takes a long time to break down bedrock. chronological factors play an important part in the process. these soils are barren. All sorts of biological things are happening in the air/water space. it expands. There are also roots and tunneling creatures that work like the microbes. . the windblown material is mixed with old alluvium. That shape is called the topography. You'll find that soil is half minerals/rocks and half air/water. as in much of Baluchistan. (2) There are climatic effects that create soil. The organic stuff is called humus. They turn the soil around and move it. When you have a slope and it rains. Where the soils are formed of deep sand. There are others. The type of soil under your feet is dependent on the bedrock deep below the surface. Chronological means time. and clayey flood plain soils. That's it. When you have mountains. but these are the biggies. Excess of evaporation over precipitation leaves a thick crust of salts at the surface of the intermittent lakes. they are moderately calcareous. and the Cholistan and Thar Deserts. Those physical activities break down the rocks and hard surfaces. Desert soils include rolling to hilly sandy soils. beyond very poor grazing Makin' The Soil The process of soil formation happens in many ways. In places. The runoff carries away small rocks and minerals. It slowly builds up and the small pieces make soil. When water freezes. It takes hundreds to thousands of years. Thal desert soils occur in large sections of the Sind Sagar Doab. and largely aeolian. Temperature plays a role when you move below and above the freezing point. We can't just sit and watch this process happen. (1) It can be created because of the shape of the landscape. there will be drainage. We just explained that when it rains you have runoff and erosion.
Differences in soil type within and between regions are a result of the interactions between these factors. Numerous landform features were formed following glaciation and deposition of morainal (till) material. and human beings 4) Topography: slope. . microbes. and elevation 5) Time: period that parent materials are subjected to soil formation 1. Parent material Parent material is the material from which a soil forms. Climatic Conditions The mean annual temperature influences the processes of decomposition of organic matter. Parent material 1. Climate 1.2. It consists of unconsolidated and more or less chemically weathered mineral or organic material. The largest soil orders in Pakistan are Aridisol and Entisol.9 Reasons For Low Organic Matter Content of Pakistan Soils The low organic matter content of Pakistan soils can be attributed to the following reasons. That is why high temperatures prevailing in Pakistan are conducive for a rapid decomposition and loss of organic matter.4.3. So our soils naturally have lesser capacity to hold higher organic matter content.1. aspect. Soil Orders The differences of organic matter content among soil orders also play key role in determining the potential of a soil to keep a certain level of organic matter.Topography 1. At high temperatures the decomposition proceeds very quickly. which are known to have lowest organic matter content among all the soil orders. Biota 1. Soil Classification 1. 1) Parent material : unconsolidated material in which soil development occurs 2) Climate: particularly precipitation and temperature 3) Biota: living organisms including vegetation. Time Interactions of Soil Formation Factors Soil forms as a result of five soil formation factors. Factors of Soil Formation 1.5. The animation below illustrates formation of outwash deposits formed by meltwater streams that issued from a glacier.1. soil animals.
water. As a result. are collectively referred to as biota. which in turn affects soil formation. Climate Climate determines the nature (physical. Soil development is affected by both the type and number of organisms that live in and on the soil. 1.3.4. Soil parent material consists of rocks. and humans. Consequently. For example. chemical or biological) and rate of weathering (that acts on parent material to form soil). Depressions in dry grassland areas are usually occupied by trees due to greater soil water content. Human activity also influences soil formation. The following table lists transported parent materials and their modes of deposition. these depressions have different soil types than adjacent areas. the amount of precipitation determines the extent of leaching through a soil profile and seasonal temperature fluctuations influence the number and rate of chemical reactions and overall biological activity. soil water content and vegetation. ice. For example. Slope and aspect together influence soil temperature. Destruction of natural vegetation by changing the frequency and extent of natural fires or by soil tillage abruptly modifies the soil forming factors. These changes have influenced the relative distribution of forests and grasslands in many areas of British Columbia . Examples are peat (undecomposed or slightly decomposed organic matter) and muck (highly decomposed organic matter) 3) Transported: loose sediments or surficial material that were transported and deposited by gravity. 2) Cumulose: organic deposits developed in place from plant residues that have been preserved by a high water table. . or some other factor that inhibits decomposition.10 The nature of the parent material influences both texture and the mineral composition of the soil. in the Northern Hemisphere cooler north-facing slopes are usually forested with slower soil development than on warmer south-facing grasslands . Biota Living organisms. 1. 1.Topography There is a strong interaction between topography and vegetation and their influence on soil formation. or wind. For example. while in forest soils organic matter accumulates on the surface.2. Aspect influences the angle at which the sun�s rays strike the earth�s surface. Plants influence the amount of organic matter buildup in the soil. soil developed under grassland vegetation has organic matter incorporated into the rooting zone. including plants. microbes. which can be classified as: 1) Residual or sedentary: sediments developed in place (in situ) from underlying rock over a long period of intense weathering. The most important elements of climate for soil formation are precipitation and temperature. soil animals. a north-facing slope has a thinner soil than a south-facing slope on the same ridge.
000 years ago. Fossilized remnants of a microbial mat provide evidence that life existed on land as early as 2. Review website for details. However. toward the middle of the doabs. They have been developing since the recession of the last ice age 10. A younger soil will reflect characteristics of the parent material better than an older soil. trees occupy slight depressions where soil moisture accumulates. and organic content from place to place. chemical composition.6 to 2. 1. mountain soils. The figure below illustrates how in a grassland-forest transition zone. The Indus basin soils are mostly thick alluvium deposited by rivers and are of recent origin. and sandy desert soils. This photo is from the Nicola Valley in interior British Columbia. These depressions have different soil types than adjacent upland areas. the very mode of soil formation gives rise to their diversification even within small areas. They are particularly useful for soil survey and mapping. colour. Time Soil formation is a slow process that takes hundreds or even thousands of years. they are characteristic of a land with low and erratic precipitation. since soils are stratified on the basis of individual formation factors. which comprise a dry soil group with high concentrations of calcium carbonate and a low content of organic matter.5. Away from the river. There is a strong interaction between topography and vegetation and their influence on soil formation.11 Elevation influences vegetation and soil type. The major soil groupings are Indus basin soils. Such climate gradients are usually reflected in a shift from grassland to forest and alpine plant communities. Soils Pakistan’s soils are classified as pedocals. are relatively young when compared to soils of the southern United States. including British Columbia�s. They have a low organic content and are collectively known as the khaddar soils. Soils in the vicinity of river courses are the most recent and vary in texture from sand to silt loam and silty clay loams.7 billion years ago. Interactions of Soil Formation Factors The formation of soil is a complex process. Individual factors are of interest because they help us simplify and explain soil formation. In the interior of British Columbia climate becomes cooler and more wet as elevation increases from valley bottoms to mountain tops. older alluvial soils (called bangar) are widely . The findings suggest that an oxygen atmosphere and a protective ozone layer were in place around Earth by that time. �The Oldest Life on Land�. since insufficient time has elapsed to permit significant development. Canadian soils. and the five soil formation factors are active simultaneously and interdependently. These soils vary in texture.
and most moisture comes in the summer.. because of its concentration from early July to mid-September. precipitation increases slightly to about 6 inches (155 mm) at Hyderabad and 8 inches (200 mm) at Karachi. In the delta the estuarine soils are excessively saline and barren. The efficiency of the monsoonal precipitation is poor. Sandy desert soils cover the Cholistan part of Sind Sagar Doab and western Balochistan. however. Precipitation throughout the country generally is erratic. which runs northwest from near Lahore. South of this region. Strongly alkaline soils are localized in some small patches. In some waterlogged areas. Tropical storms from the Arabian Sea provide precipitation to the coastal areas but are also variable in character. and its volume is highly variable. is exceptionally dry. Under maritime influence. The 20-inch (500-mm) precipitation line. Climate Aridity is the most pervasive aspect of Pakistan’s climate. In the north the mean annual precipitation at Peshawar is 13 inches (330 mm). and at Rawalpindi it reaches 37 inches (950 mm). In the submontane areas under subhumid conditions these soils are noncalcareous and have slightly higher organic content.e.12 distributed. Mountain soils are both residual (i. when high temperatures maximize loss through evaporation. cultivation is confined mainly to riverine strips until the advent of irrigation. formed in a stationary position) and transported. . and its continental nature can be seen in the extremes of temperature. In the plains. the exact margins of which vary from year to year. these soils are salinized. These soils are medium to fine in texture. mean annual precipitation generally decreases from northeast to southwest. these areas receive enough rainfall for dry farming (farming without irrigation). blow in intermittent bursts. but under subhumid conditions their organic content increases. The rainy monsoon winds. These include moderately calcareous and eolian (wind-borne) soils.e..5 inches (90 mm) at Sukkur. wet-dry) system. Those soils generally are strongly calcareous and have low organic content. marks off the Potwar Plateau and a part of the Indus plain in the northeast. falling from about 20 inches (500 mm) at Lahore to less than 5 inches (130 mm) in the Indus River corridor and 3. Pakistan is situated on the edge of a monsoonal (i. and are highly productive under conditions of irrigation and fertilization. Shallow residual soils have developed along the slopes and in the broken hill country. Most of the Balochistan plateau. especially in the west and south. however. have low organic content. They include both shifting sandy soils and clayey floodplain soils.
below 3. the diurnal variation in temperature may be as much as 20 to 30 °F (11 to 17 °C). Plant and animal life Differences of latitude. but wildlife can still be found in abundance in some areas. rare snow leopards. where the highest temperatures can exceed 117 °F (47 °C). elevation. and wild sheep. also known as the Himalayan bear). High elevations modify the climate in the cold. has recorded the highest temperature in Pakistan. In the summer. soil type. mostly acacia. grow in parts of the arid plain. deodar. walnuts. Marco Polo sheep (Ovis ammon polii. with minimum mean temperatures of about 40 °F (4 °C) in January. a type of argali). Trees shed their leaves to avoid excessive moisture loss. temperatures reach great extremes in the summer. snow-covered northern mountains. The babul tree(Acacia arabica) is common in the Indus River valley. Dry scrub forests. hot winds called loos blow across the plains during the day. both seasonally and daily. some hills are only thinly wooded. evergreen coniferous softwood forests. in Sind. and chestnuts predominate. and Chiltan wild goats (Capra aegagrus chialtanensis). blue pine (Pinus wallichiana). In the northern and northwestern foothills and plains. Along the coastal strip. grow. including markhors. principally acacia. Destruction of natural habitats and excessive hunting have led to a reduction in the range of animal life in large parts of the country. temperatures on the Balochistan plateau are somewhat higher. In the northern ranges of the Balochistan plateau are some groves of pine and olive. maples. Jacobabad. Fir. The plains present a parkland view of scattered trees. themean temperature during June is 100 °F (38 °C) in the plains. 127 °F (53 °C). called rakhs. At lower elevations. and wild olive are found. and climate have favoured a variety ofplant growth. broad-leaved oaks. but it has been diminished further by excessive timber cutting and overgrazing. . In the wetter parts of the northern and northwestern mountains. In the arid landscape of the Potwar Plateau. shrub forests. Winters are cold. with some broad-leaved species. Drought-resistant vegetation in the desert consists of stunted thorny scrub. leopards. the climate is modified by sea breezes.000 feet (900 metres). Evenings are cool.Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus. hot weather is broken occasionally by dust storms and thunderstorms that temporarily lower the temperature. Siberian ibex (Capra ibex sibirica). In the rest of the country. The dry. and spruce are the principal coniferous trees. The country’s forest cover is naturally sparse. Conifers are an important source of commercial timber. The variety of large mammals in the northern mountains includes brown bears.13 Pakistan’s continental type of climate is characterized by extreme variations of temperature. as are many species of fruit trees. birches.
that species is likely extinct in Pakistan. The result is that flat locations typically have a deeper more mature soil layer than do locations with a steep slope. This water blocks oxygen. At least two types of sea turtles. including mallards. Topography has an important influence in how soils form. chinkaras (Gazella gazella bennetti). pythons. Jackals. nest on the Makran coast. and the creation of dams and barrages. The second topographic factor effecting soil formation is drainage. which is important to soil formation. .14 Manchhar Lake in Sind has many aquatic birds. how well is the soil able to get rid of extra water via draining it. a freshwater dolphin whose habitat has been severely stressed by hunting. and muntjacs. as lower levels of dirt are being turned into soil. and wood ducks. geese. the green and olive ridley. pollution. Most locations have excellent drainage. However. At the same time wind and water carry the surface soil away through erosion. Thus in these locations soil formation can become seriously hindered. teals. Desert gazelles are widely distributed.snow leopard. and jungle cats [Felis chaus]) are also found throughout the country. and wild boars inhabit the Indus River delta area. foxes. On steep slopes erosion is usually quicker than the formation of new soil beneath. and gavial. Topography The up and down changes in hills and mountains of a particular location is referred to by scientists as topography. spoonbills. a number of species have been declared endangered. The first topographic factor is steepness of hill and mountain slopes. and various wild cats (including Eurasian lynxes. Crocodiles. fishing cats. All soils around the Earth are slowly getting deeper and deeper. gavials (crocodile-like reptiles). including nilgais. Despite occasional reported sightings of the Asiatic cheetah. pochards. The Indus River itself is home to the Indus river dolphin. In areas which are flat. but some locations do not. shovelers. or in other words. including the Indus river dolphin. A series of national parks and game preserves was established beginning in the 1970s. the soil typically tends to get deeper quicker than the surface erodes away. caracals. Some locations become water logged.
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