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Pakistan Geographical Review

Volume

24

January,

1969

Number

1

ALLUVIAL MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER INDUS PLAIN
AND ITS RELATION TO LAND USE
M.

M.

MEMON

THE ORIGIN OF THE PLAIN

F

OR an elaborate
necessary

study of the morphological

to know about

the nature

features of the Lower Indus Plain it is

of its origin and the processes

involved

in

its development.
In the sub-continent
of Pakistan and India, a vast geosyncline
or
trough lies between the mighty Himalayas in the north and the plateau of Peninsular
India

in the

south.

of the bordering
high

The

ranges.

crust-waves

origin

Eduard

of this depression

is intimately

connected

Suess believes that it is a "fore-deep"

of the Himalayas

as they were checked

with that

in front of the

in their southward

advance

by the Archean
land-mass
of Peninsular
India.
Based on this view the depression
is synclinal in nature.
According to Sir. S. Burrard it occupies a deep "rift valley",
a portion
between
crack

of the
parallel

15,000

associated

earth's

miles

long

almost

in a huge

crack or fissure in the sub-crust,

several

thousand

The

feet

formation

of the great

deep was according

to his view

and

According

of the mighty

older

Tertiary

are more consolidated
presence

geologists

picture

the

conversion

depression

level plains by a simple process of alluviation

deposits

Siwalik

and

and other

pace with subsidence.
alluvial

sunk

or faults on its two sides.

with the rise of the Himalayas.

D. N. Wadia!
to

surface

dislocations

of which

borings

l.

reveal

that

Gravity,
the

to Wadia underlying

rivers of the
sediments

older formations,
is indicated
magnetic

depth

in which the deposition
the Pleistocene

Indo-Gangetic

is variable,

and below these

and

Cretaceous,

the

of the seismic wave as well as by

and seismic explorations,

of alluvium

piedmont

Gondwanas

by good reflections

kept

and sub-Recent

system are unconsolidated

of the Himalayan
such as the

of the

that have

from

been

made

so far

less than 1,000 to over 2,000

metres".
lD.N. Wadia : Geology of India
2lbid. p. 389.
#<

MR.

MEMON

of Sind, Hyderabad.

is Professor

(London:

1909), p. 284.

and Head of the Department

of Geography,

University

2

PAKISTAN

GEOGRAPHICAL

It will not be out of place to mention

JANUARY

REVIEW

here the views of Al-Beruni

the

"Master

Aliboron"
of the medieval west, which he expressed with regard to the origin of the
plain as early as 1030 A. D. He states, "But if you have seen the soil of India with
your own eyes and meditate on its nature, if you consider the rounded stones found
in the earth

however

where

rivers

the

distance
are

have

pulverised
and

that India

the

sea-if

western
the

Kashmir.

section
old

of

these

alluvium

ridge is traceable
two

near
are

flow

the

sub-terranean

of smaller
slowly,

begin

to

and

size at great
stones

stagnate

that
their

you could scarcely help thinking
fi\led

up

by the

alluvium

of the Indus
by about

of older

of the

mass

of sediments,

The

which

extends

deposited
ridge.

and has

across

it into

by the rivers.

Under-

known

as Delhi

Shahpur

to the Salt Range which divides the plain

existence

of this

ridge has been supported

by

anamolies.

fluviatile

On the basis of geodetic

thickness

mountains

plain is called the Indus Plain,

a sub-terranean

basins.

or gravity

trough

bank

pliocene).

the

more

streams

a\l this,

extensive

thickness

deposits

floor is covered

shelving

that

streams

pre-cambrian

from Delhi northwestwards

evidence

The

this

peninsular

On it lie the great

archean

you consider

huge

3."

The

into

stones

and where the

in the shape of sand and where
near

its base

geodetic

current,

are

has once been a sea which by degrees has been

of the streams

neath

a violent

from the mountains,

mouths

for

deeply you dig, stones that

alluvium

from

Plain

is regarded

15,000

feet

sediments
data,

to be of a fairly .great depth.

of sub-Recent
of the Siwalik

Oldham

and Murree

in 1917,

15,000 to 20,000

feet+.

alluvium
postulated

However,

Its

overlying
epoch (Miothe maximum

gravity

surveys

conducted recently have led E.A. Glennie to suggest a much lesser depth aggregating
only 6,:'00 feets. The whole thickness of the alluvial depths constitutes one continuous
conformable

series whose accumulation

The geophysical
Burmah

Oil Company

work carried
gives a depth

of about 29° .3'N, 70° .8'E, while
reveals

depths

exceeding

is regarded as thin
28° .3'N, 68° .4'E6.

is still in progress.

out very recently
to the basement
the

torsion

in the

balance

survey

2.000 feet close to the Delhi-Shahpur

in the

Sind

area,

Lahore

Basin

by the

of about 22,000 feet in the region
in the
ridge.

Indus

Basin

The alluvium

except for the basin lying west of Jacobabad

3E.C. Sachau : Al-Beruni's India (Lahore:
1914) Popular Edition, Vol. I, p. 198.
4R. D. Oldham: Memoirs of Geological Survey of India, Vol. 92, p. 119.
5E.A. Glennie: Gravity anamolies of the structure of the earth, Survey of India Professional
paper No. 27. (1932).
6E. A. Glennie, "Gravity Data and Crust al Warping in North West Pakistan and adjacent
parts of India," (1955).

a

1969

ALLUVIAL

Whatever

MORPHOLOGY

the nature

OF THE LOWER

of the depression,

INDUS

it was subjected

3

PLAIN

to rigorous

sedimen-

tation during the greater
part of the Tertiary era and is believed to have proceeded
parri-passu with the slow sinking of the basin.
Outcrops of marine Kirthar limestones
near Sukkur and Hyderabad
at a depth

of only

region the earlier
With

the

restoration

about

535 feet near LyaJlpur,

sediments

gradual

shallow-water

as well as the presence of Siwalik
deposited

withdrawal

of the

and possibly deltaic
of terrestrial
of numerous

and

Since

streams

suggest the possibility

pre-Cambrian

sea during

deposits

conditions

advent of the Siwalik period.
the sediments

on the

like fluviatile
basement

the later

deposition

marine.
era.

culminating

of fluviatile

have accumulated

that in this

were

part of the Tertiary

were laid down, finally

then, it has remained

sediments

material

with the

a vast floodplain

in enormous

in the

on which

thickness.

The whole of the Indus Plain from the Himalayas
to the Salt range in the
north to the Arabian Sea in the south, is one of the most homogeneous
physiographic
regions of the earth, with only the Kirana hills in the upper part and the limestone
ridges

at

rivers.

Sukkur

The

and

plain

Hyderabad

has a very

one of the most prosperous
section

in the

fertile

soil

agricultural

of this plain is termed

southern

on

average

A study
IS

aligned

sea.

of

the

along

This

bank from

feature
Kashrnor

a distinct

hollow
have

between
has

Shikarpur
the

contour

is very

ITS ALIGNMENT

map

water

well

to below
or trough

forced

well developed

floods,

DUS,

that

levees.

AND

in the north
run

follow a south

in the west
When

the

floods the lake swells
vast alluvial

Sea

TRENDS

where

The general

contours

to

north,

J acobabad

on

overflows

the

right

until they meet

to Manchar

them

of distributaries

east.

Lake.

Manchar

When it recedes

after

belt

The river

at the time
which

slope of the land away from
into the

to the

course in a narrow

and the desert in the

a net work

into 100 sq. miles.
deposits.

to the Arabian

reveals that the river Indus

westerly

the river

also helps the right bank flood water to be drained
leaves behind

GENERAL

from south

extends from near

its way through

away from the main water course.

it

all the alluvial

its entire course from the Gudu Barrage

marked

and Larkana
finds

Here

from Kashrnor

of the region (Fig.-2)

Larkana

the river to

natural

making
The southern

foot a mile.

a ridge throughout

The

hills

I

LOWER

supply,

of its

Indus which carries the combined waters
of old and recent alluvium,
cut by river

The gradient

is less than one

THE

water

the flow

of the sub-continent.

the Lower Indus Plain (Fig.-l).

some of which are leveed.

the

interrupt

abundant

regions

deposits are the work of one river, the
of all its tributaries.
The deposits consist
channels,

and

part to

Lake.
the

of

slope

the river
During
floods

it

~/ h/ "~ --/ . J FIGURE 1 :/ >6. c oc s ncc N6P 'C.1 (' -. ~ '0 20 '0 I I MILES I L~_ ••• NCHAIt LAI<[ l~ / ~ . ~~-- REVIEW JANUARY - 1.4 PAKIST AN GEOGRAPHICAL ->». \ BARRAGES AND CANALS ) I '\ r. -~----I LOWER INDUS PLAIN I.. ~ )1 !) /.j.r: Ar~~AHIS '..."- ~~~# ) / \ r'.11 --- .

0 ( ... ~C I THAR DESERT FIGURE 2 '0 'm" 40 .-.~--..~-- . -=--=-:. \ I I \ AL TITUOE5 8 •• 20 FEEi I I I ..1969 ALLUVIAL MORPHOLOGy OF THE LOWER INDUS LOWER IN DU 5 SURFACE CONTOUR DESERT 5 PLAIN PLAIN CONTOURS INTERVAL AL TlTUDE S 10FEET NOT SHOWN .

lines. valley. the natural to an The of bunds or have now the canals replac- covering activity. south south-east If The Kirthar The drainage the Indus has reached west. the Between in the by Bhit and a break course. The river remain the rarely reached the lateral margins at a lower level and act as natural hollow or trough east. have been advanced north-south trend. which its decline. of time until all the distributaries JANUARY almost upto Badin the contours of its length. run from north- suggests that the Indus but successively found in a westerly were the chief outlets. spreading the Ochito and It is being bunded a out and the Haidari consists of the remnant off from the main river. hills follow its natural extent that river's tendency resulted higher running of Sehwan to the embankments. to explain Most the westering commonly Gilbert mg of the Indus i. which. law" tendency The westward swing- is most probably due to in the Northern Hemi- to be situated sphere.e. therefore. the a distinct lower down it with the passage their own outlets direction. to swing sideways in virtually Badhra of the old Indus courses. "Ferrel's influence trough Some of the early to the Until recently Ferrel (1861). in the west and the high bed of the Indus Hills. tamed have built-up and permitted its level to such course would have been unavoidable of barrages by the erection and introduction an end to the natural and field irrigation and in the its western limit almost flowing close The construction ing the flood channels Ranges from Mirpurkhas has now been controlled putting Range line along the Nara has a Nara. natural of its floodplain replacing flooding of canals activity. further occupies by the hills lying on the west.K. The Nara The shape of the contours south easterly course as conditioned distributaries joined across the delta channel The Ochito of the once Ochito will all the more hasten Many theories with a dominant is now drying river. giving rise to the Ma nchar Lake basin. under forces as it happens quoted of rivers are those of William (1884). to the Indus and the levels the it would a more borders river had probably easterly not been a drainage Lakhi system has the most prominent to the Nara. up for most has followed sea. Karl vcn Baer (1866) and G.6 PAKISTAN From south east to south-west of Nawab GEOGRAPHICAL Shah on the eastern bank. while its outlet a little distance drainage outlet in the south is blocked developed to the sea. the Nara REVIEW towards of rotational it right. between one is of Dhoro South Puran. .

aerial the fury and uncontrolled its raised course formed ally adopted languages easier. city is known are. recorded have ing the geomorphology region. and detailed reconstruction dawn the earlier courses with records to the construction to its present breached times. at a correct COURSES Such an information testify to the oscillations and GING of the alluvial and from the river CHA OF THE LOWER river east of this of the river course eastwards. suggesting habitations bringing misery of Sukkur close to crossed named and in the east reached standing destruction in the after floodplain is Daro and a number this town persisted that the river was then comparatively the Gauspur. Apart regarding a precise the and most pretting for unsystematic. However.ALLUVIAL 1969 MORPHOLOGY THE For a correct appraisal it is necessary to during history.C. Not of its of no help in arriving when the river was swollen in flood. in the by the deposition has opened The in interprett- river channels are thus practically accuracy. a city somewhere in the area river down to it of Brah- . OF in understanding own sediments. the present and gradu- by the Indus in pre-historic agriculture to the shifting sailed down it the river and that the river at that time lay not far to the the Great prior at a higher level Occasionally city of Moen-jo civilization river of its own sediments followed settlements may be attributed It then available it. the north of Shikarpur and course and running parallel Patala . however force of the mighty by the aggradation crops alike were swept away by the in trail. much new course. unfortunate. now the traced courses with taming of the floodplain Consequently about evidence un-earthed a remarkable stable. by confining situated human ruins of the ancient sites. The provided earliest by the of contemporary over village length It may be assumed and its decline When Alexander used to flow northwest south to Ruk. INDUS morphology knowledge abundance It is. comparatively It is hard to visualise evidences photography courses of the Indus in different of abandoned formed Plain. for some distance bunds. up the scope of inter- photographs and barrages surging the of waters course and The of time. Only a few parts escaped being submerged in this regard have made the task of correlating of flood protective channel. an entirely amply of events. of soil texture available of the sequence of aerial the Lower Indus Region the historical They Indus significance the distribution that historical 7 of the Lower is of vital remnants PLAIN INDUS of the different of the river in the floodplain confusing the THE of information its wanderings. Indus in 326-325 B.

~ riv~r Cont~mporary Mod~rn Course s~ttl.m~ s~ttl~m.nt Command Upland fiGURE Cou r s e boundry nt . I 4p MILE 5 1 J I Old rlv~r Pr~s~nt • e /. \ I / / Shohdadkot \ /' / ~\ v( -ie /~\ ) ()~ 1/ I I CHANGING COURSES OF THE J INDUS SCALE 105 e 1.0 2 0 lp I .8 PAKISTAN GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW JANUARY .I\.

9 It then to continue the Indus presently literature appears that the It then reached western the main stream evidences lay to the south west of Suja wal. situated Eastern one running at that time probably During OF THE LOWER 1900). and two probably reached of the joined Sehwan the become had the courses two supposed may 9 obscured. ten miles west of the The port of Deba l lay on a smaller city century may have been in existence in historical sixteen the present site of Hyderabad. 110. VoU.1969 ALLUVIAL manabad. . D. MORPHOLOGY which was situated ceeded to the sea. Sind in the eight the river flowed down the course passing near river course which runs southwest of Khairpur Western Command Nara-Aral of to-day.Vlirza Kalich Beg: A Hist or y of Si!1d(Chachnamah) of dis- a city which once stood at Aror. According to the Arab writings by about 950 A. T. one Nara pro- into the Eastern in the Gudu right be out an is early of these of it as the course midway between A. of the The but the Mehran a strip of fertile land in the northeast while the capital but all other south. beside the Nara gap and commanding in the Kandhkot. it appears and Patala. 11. A General Introduction (Hyderabad : 1964). and Both issuing a more easterly left down the to be the second. lay close to the Makli Figure 3 shows several course through the sea somewhere on the right bank. the draining in the Indus Jacobabad When the Arabs conquered appears since overlooking Nara the main stream PLAIN The one on the right bank probably through Western might have been draining Aral Hills that of one of the counterpart Samaro. 9.? two distributaries has long centuries on the Rohri Nara. flowed conclusion through Aror that the Nara 7H. The INDUS at the delta head. La mbr ic k : Sind. tributaries of Sukkur which channel Sehwan is cut was then about to be the westernmost about one. sSir A. 279. It north. The eastern Nara whilst the western is supposed to have The coastline bank.. area The of Mirpur distributary through into the Manchar bank Lake then following one Right Bank Shahdadkot. distributary the succeeding Aror. Cunningham : The Ancient Geography of India (London: 1871).. p. on and Sukkur the latter Hills. D. Mehran east in form as that A number the sea somewhere branch. Commands. From Patala. p. p. further that crossed the present down the course miles east of Nerunkot". capital by configuration have been mentioned of Brahman abad. a city sited on Rohri Hills city of the south Indus lead to the (Karachi: was still was Brahmanabad. distributaries. river. in the near Sakrand. and later the flowed past gap and coursing or taken Bathoro.

of Sehwan. The Indus Delta Country (London: 12Lambrick : Op. Haig . R.lO that the river broke to an increase one through mand. in volume. This resulted south the Sukkur Left Bank to its present in the map. in 1519. footnote 8. cit . Sattah "Hajamro". 118. course in the course west of Hyderabad gap in the limestone channel. near the the a similar not the full volume of the joining resulted Consequently of Sind also shared region declined. Warah. country on certainly through JANUARY REVIEW Comand East the southeastern up of a major in the map. since the Kalri which middle of Hyderabad Further fertility south and flowed southeast . This Khairpur corner incident to the inevitably northeast distributary passing Sukkur fate course east In the south. area. hydrographic outlier.'! In north then named which the south the new course 10Lambrick: Op. account and Talhar branches-the of Khairpur declined and the flourishing of the drying as shown region extending not later due mainly of the Kandhkot of Aror on perhaps of the two major and of the waters and certainly gap. passes through rejoined the In the former approximately south another another the present major its present and Baghar Indus began to follow a new course. at first west flowing through the Ochito. cit . it. account and the other through courses.10 PAKISTAN gap carried a branch of the Indus. This course must have been contemporaneous superseded Kalri east the river where the two courses in the increased Sehwan the river gap and Khairpur position. to Tando served and a major of the eighteenth Baghar outlet century. D. p 182 and 183. through continuing The some time in the to be the main outlet change occurred which of the river silted up soon after 1817. 11M. the was formed served as its main outlet.12 along the leaving In 1819 the but later turning During south- the middle of the . southwest. p. the can be traced as shown becoming of the traceable Khan Lark anaagain from where it turned with the Gungro. p. in the desertion settlement Shahdadpur Gungro centuries the Kandhkot was laid waste. of the river It was probably between the 10th and thirteenth GEOGRAPHICAL and than 1333 A. After making former floodplain dually a passage in G udu northwestwards its present course north Dadu From of Hala. D. 193. Some time during 1758-79 caused the Indus to adopt Dadu area. from Tando fertile As this Muhammad Khan out to the sea via Sir Creek rose to prominence. footnote 8. 1894). but soon existed by 1340 A. declined whilst the Baghar its it flowed a little west of Muhammad sea cutting later to shift gra- prosperity distributaries to started Commands.

.: .. -" -. .: '.. ..~ ..ALLUVIAL 1969 MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER '<- INDUS LOWER PLAIN INDUS 11 PLAIN LANDFORMS ACTIVE MEANDER en 00 0 0 00 00 o 0 FLOODPLAIN COVER FLOODPLAIN ~ r:-:-:t FLOODPLAIN DELTAIC ~ IlIIIID FLOODPLAIN TIDAL DELTA PIEDMONT DESERT ~ r:-:-l ~ •• PLAIN FRINGE SAND PLAIN 25 0 ~ OKARACHI : ."- --------- - - SCALE 25 50 ~I~~--~======~~~= Miles FIGURE 4 .-"'-------~~ .

J . (/) l- :r 0 _I a.) 0 Z ll:: <[ ILl en 0 a.. while the main river had Haidari.J C\J ::E $I / > / > /... to cut off the Ochito. ILl / U a: Z I-- m z / <! . ~'\:..) l- :::> :r ~ :r z ...J u.z <[ :r: u 0 ~ I-- ILl ...J (/) 0 I-- en ILl <[ ILl z . t 'o last century Finally it breached in the last the Ochito decade.J <[ U ILl (/) Z Z Il:: (/) 10 v r<) ILl .z I-- -o ::E > a: (.::":. the Haidari..y (..... outlet to the east of ..) a:: ~ o. itself and bunds found followed a more easterly were extended yet another southwards principal outlet.12 PAK1STAN GEOGRAPHtCAL REV1EW JANUARY (/) Il:: .. I Y: 0 0 I-- (/) 0:: ILl I-- . ILl <[ (/) en (/) en 0 ~ 0 ll:: (.J 3 a:: en 0 0 0 .. ...z en 3 ILl 0 I-- ::E ...

construction delta and Nara Commands of bunds that the floods could be controlled. was the final logical back. while those deposited a little earlier than these are much coarser types of landforms found in the region from one another in their geomorphic structure. those Fig. and as the new . is not so in reality. LANDFORMS The untrained Lower Indus Plain which eye. It may be concluded that broadly shifted its course steadily westward. topography and soil which of size. speaking although fairly stable for quite a few centuries Man's and of barrages step in man's breaks of were was control the over It was not until settlements the could assured water over the river. apparently The contours looks the plain into units perfectly and aerial photographs variations in relief and pattern of alluvial deposits. coarser sediments were deposited during floods until the level of the meander belt was raised to an extent which forced the river to adopt a new course. permanent. of smaller 4 shows order landforms and at places almost sandy. This feature which differ from one another both in their origin and morphology. Indus individual until sudden and control the of the deposition so also and suffered many a set-back. with rapid lateral and vertical changes. on account are of considerable of limitations areal extent while of scale have been shown in Fig. Meander present floodplains These are the abandoned river courses which may active floodplain or may follow entirely different lie either adjacent to the courses. In the old course the sediments became stabilized.1969 ALLUVIAL MORPItOLOGY It is only in the north. narrow deltaic course passing the river courses distributaries more very south-westward running nearly near Shahdadpur developed the construction become The two about gradually across a thousand supply that resulted The years years ago. of the plain were deposited at different periods and divides to be called landforms flat to the reveal minor suggesting that the different parts in different ways. The various can easily be distinguished in that they differ associations-elevation. When in the past these courses were active. encountered A feature in the of the region alluvial mark sediments different is that phases in alluvial they have well sorted textures and reveal an intricate stratification. slowly and steadily OF 'TItE LOWER near Ghotki westward during sediments. The most recent sediments are fine sandy loam to silty clays. The landforms sedimentation. The to constant Rohri thousand that the river shifted years. due 13 PLAIN and west of Khairpur the past one thousand Indus has also grown and is advancing younger INDUS may be said to have courses may have remained resulted in the formation of new courses. 5.

.. ..'. they got covered areas between the river ments every time floodplains the courses... course built up a still higher level.::'. ' .. .. '\". '. ..:1 COVER '- .::"__...\2 GEOGRAPHICAL ..•. /' /.j.~.. The get narrower meander (the intervening "bank-topping" rise to extensive features intervening floods cover floodplains. ~yb~%i&\'i \~l.:...'1 \ 0 5 10 Ul.. 1 BOUNOrlY NARA) FLOOD .. .. A.:.::""\:'~" JANUARY REVIEW . 5)./ ~ /: '...:::. of the meander floodplains are An is to be (Fig. ·DO:/-·... . until the The low lying received a veneer of fine sediriver courses.... of coarse material This carried .-:.. ..' ... .·::: .' I ~ .. . ..... c..: .. .•. Qtv .\:':.. .••.•.~.- ..:>./ '\I' . MILES : .:.''" .j 6-Showing cover floodplain in the Southern course.: ... : I I·'..14 PAKISTAN . . s ':../ "..'<ii >: '.i RIVER COURSES . . '...\\?AR'U~\ .' ..>: .. :. :>... :.: \ ..o. ..:..~.." <: ))' 'r .• '" <": : ...I.1.U - ABANDONED .:.: . . . ... ~ V i .. : ...': .:.' . \.: . PLAINS ~. i-: .::':::':::) .. water escaped in the north from distributaries giving tobographical of Khairpur the but gradually wider) as they enter the delta dominant up.~. r. ( ... r: .. \ \<':"~:.Mi"?~J\\-.!~~!~~! (. : __ . flood are much wider cover floodplains in the deltaic example of the distncti found south-west the cover floodplains.... (2) Shahdadpur course. ... (3) Dhoro FIGURE (I) Nasurpur Section of Rohri and Nara Commands Puran and (4) Samaro course. .'... ..../.I .".rH ~ - - COMMA~D (ROHRI _ 1::.. ./ - ..-.. Bar deposits These distinction are of two is perhaps types depending due to the amount and on their relative proportion height and relief. /i. """...-'..':.: ..:: .

Active floodplain. is the active floodplain. soil texture and of fine medium (Fig. slightly depressed fine and fine-medium to varying depth. This is the most between time extensive the river courses. it is of very wide they spillways over are smaller inundating of shallow good Spillway bank because levees large areas. it is also slightly textures are mostly fine-medium water and only the finer material age a) shallow cover-plain. landform in some land with coarse-medium land with very smooth topo- c) very fine cover plain. occurrence. and textures reaches leading it is slightly depressed depressed at the it has is deposited of cover depending to varying depth overlying areas there to the formation fall into three types. by their coarse thickness. near Tatta The two begin to spread landforms. sandy. usually than occurrence floodplain which may at times be of fairly levees have been distinguished extent..ALLUVIAL 1969 MORPHOLOGY by the river. intervening which are at a lower level are periodically inundated the slow of coarser cover moving floodplains region. textures land with very smooth in the material former topographic The smooth graphy. deposited The bunds also restrain change its course. over most of its length. the in the deposition levee. it is most common and (c) sheet levee. coarse i. already dropped here vertically floodplains its load covering (Fig 6). The landform floodplain may present day active river channel since it is bunded conditions be quite and so the sediments thick. low-bar comparatively more even. topography. 5) have with thin deposits INDUS especially higher relief is rough and soil texture PLAIN are more common. measure on their relative topography. is mostly coarse-medium horizons a comparatively their topography OF THE LOWER are coarse horizons High bar deposits normally is predominantly Their relief is with at the surface. the river Three in the levees region. Channel Deposits.e. Under such conditions flood plain is now no longer possible. delta on their way to the Arabian sea. The By the time of floods. in size and they have been formed suddenly and depositing overflows its layers of coarser by banks sediments depth. of common other types of meander types delta vary of region. Cover floodplains. These are very important Sometimes textured they subdue material landforms (a) bank (b) spillway levee. The bunds create away from the It is an artificial artificial active cover channels the river so that it may not materially natural deposition of sediments over the Delta zone The distributaries of the river Indus. fine-medium features. flood b) deep cover-plain. or coarse. it occurs when a wide front. and 15 out of command. deltaic out across the floodplain and . Of the two types.

It lies above the high tide and is that part of the abandoned by the sea. and south descending alluvium. from REVIEW delta. each a distinctive zonal soil groups. Desert fr inge The name is given to the floodplains Here isolated sand-dunes of the intervening places the the sand-dune are encountered alluvium surface has and desert border north of Sanghar is similar become rising over the aliuvial sandy on account The main Piedmont north area is mostly streams plain intervention At by levelling of a fine texture. Piedmont zones occur along of the Rohri Hills and along the Ko h istan area and its outliers in Ghulam Muhammed Barrage limited Piedmont Command. The fine and are generally Coarser soil textures finer than those materials are found on of the Indus delta which faces the Arabian sea and along the banks of some of the distributaries. plain. at the time of high tides and lie exposed of the tidal delta varies between five and twenty-five few small parts that are high enough not to be overrun corresponds found inland to the cover floodplains ments are comparatively consist at iow tides. It is also to in this down by as well sorted as the Indus Elsewhere. soils of . intrazonal and azonal. have Pedologists in an attempt to describe and classify soils on a world-wide basis. but occur west of Tatta. The Piedmont material in origin as it has been brought hills. cover the greater about 25 per cent delta most recently per cent part of the Indus of the region. moderately the active floodplains extreme and the extreme mudflats floodplain covers of them coarse show thin to moderately are very changeable stratification. to that of the type of associated district. The second level of classification of which climatic has a distinctive regime. to Manchar and alluvial adjacent which extends from Kashmor Lake. miles. agricultural The are only a This but with the difference finer and of no immediate of tidal All the lands under the division that its sedi- value. There by the tides.PAKISTAN 16 tidal delta. Plain. set up as their primary units the three soil orders. zonal. the foot of man's The texture floodplain. margins. They cover floodplains mostly consist of coarse fan material. The tidal delta comprises almost 60 from place to place and most range GEOGRAPHICAL which faces the Rann of Kutch the tidal delta or tidal cover-plain. divides the zonal order into great horizon development In the world map showing soil and has evolved under the principal groups. western southern portion portion and constitute tidal delta are inundated width The deltaic The soil profiles of the deltaic floodplain found in most other plains of river laid alluvium. Piedmont Jhatpat. The JANUARY of the region. adjacent to the Lower Indus plain. from the zone is the Kachhi to Sibi. Soils.

A zone corresponding in different in these of this salt with it from the Himalayas. soils The organic was and but certainly matter only reach the in soils is the chief of where surface the of the material and Its concretions. is usually flood water. suitable units finally adopted salts of sodium. characteristic of the and features and so they For topography. structure. alluvium therefore.l0. Most in the have been units or landforms. these of not getting in soils generally characteristics. in such as newly deposited enough to the parent is the only reasonably recognisable. of Regosols found which is of recent and deposition It soils which such as horizons. landform and as a basis but purposes on so no of horizons. found to be the mapping most It cannot viz. exist in association in areas MORPHOLOGY precipitated that they are low in very productive to high matter and temperatures do not let it source of food and energy The Earth Sciences. that characteristics they inherited exhibit from readily the between can be employed complex. New York. organic stable is. so that no salts from the ground water Calcium of deposition that virgin soils show [\ high content and by drainage modes classification are geomorphic of arid It is affected water-table are not account potassium. however. consist of river laid alluvium is related include these soils in the category Texture 17 and azonal soils are regolith. The belonging other morphological soils. texture stratification becomes at a depth too its proportion carbonate is about widespread. OF THE LOWER of desert soils or Sierozernst '. physical they either show very little or no profile layering Azonal undeveloped on account soils of the Lower Indus Plain mostly The PLAIN The zonal soils are not the cnly They do not show any distinctive because INDUS with those of the Thar desert have been included with each of the classes made. N. river brought the present calcium. therefore.. time development material.ted An analysis of organic experienced region to the penetration areas ten per cent of the soil by weight. irrigation matter irrig ated!+. . regional soils colour. Strahler: HF. is deep. 1963. matter and of accumulation works as a cementing depos. Young: p. here as sediments which the some but are is due oxidize the organic of the of rain or shows the of it has of soils indicate and phosphate. and each has a defined range of textural profiles together with characteristics of elevation from the are not well developed differentiate soil.1969 the ALLUVIAL Lower Indus the category the Plain together zones or regions. be adopted of soil mapping scales It is on salts basis of soil climate magnesium found that the to is also consistence as and a criterion on detailed to scales. and the advisible to the azonal soil order. and available The deficiency nitrogen in the region which rapidly accumulate in soils. is. to develop. Soil textures are very closely related to depositional conditions. p. Report (0 the Government of Pakistan on Soils and Agriculture when (Rome: for 1953). 621. 13A. O. water as well. of extremely alluvium. but each region has also its intrazonal youthful they are immature and origin.

.'6 0 %SAND ~ ~ COARSE OJ] COARSE mrrn o FINE MEDIUM MEDIUM FINE FIGURE 7 micro-organisms and some of these in their own turn are so very useful for plant food on account of their nitrogen fixation quality. o 6'0 <: JANUARY IN THE PLAIN . The adopted Bureau the following of soils of the sizes or diameters United States of particles Department to differentiate providing of Agriculture between has different .18 PAKISTAN TEXTURE GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW DISTRIBUTION LOWER INDUS .

agricultural to any kind greatly help methods practices to of be followed." 1965. sand.25-0. footnote 14. 18Lower Indus Report.002 millimeter in diameter.25 millimeter. Resources. Services" Indus True alluvial triangle'? floodplains. 2. The United adopted to analyses have the States convert mechanical been done range of textures is shown silty and silty particularly This of the The coarse The meander meander soils. p. sandy loam-twenty to fifty per cent of silt and clay and the remainder per cent or less of clay and then it is silty loam. op. 45. p.05 millimeter. overlying WATER-TABLE A study of the water-table and but classes. piedmont. silt 0. silt and clay in certain proportions.twenty of sand clay-thirty (if silt predominates per cent of clay and less than seventy per cent of larger sizcs!e. M. footnote 16. cit ." iller and Turk. are limited has The on been mechanical samples over and their distribution of textures and medium Soil have comparatively floodplains coarse-medium of the RISING development in determining the cultivation irrigation or region. hills. fine sand 0. It is generally of a fine from the Indus alluvium. E.18 loam are rare Department the in the to be region. 0/ Soil Science. that PROBLEMS a study can be grown and soils. p.re Various textures are produced by combinations of sand. adjacent properties and topography coarse soils.00-0.10 millimeter. 52.50-0.05-0. Physical Resources. 7. thirty if clay to fifty per cent then clay ioam). 17M =Authcrs of the "Lower Indus Repor t+-Pbysical WAPDA. The scale employed in this connection is also the same as adopted by the Bureau of Soils of the United States Department of Agriculture: sand-eighty per cent or more of sand and twenty per cent or less of silt or clay. Turk: "Fundamentals 16Strahler.002 millimeter and clay below 0. and its fluctua tions is of vital significance types of crop generally fine other very successfully. 15C. medium sand 0. .1969 ALLUVIAL MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER INDUS PLAIN 19 types of soil as to their physical composition: coarse sand is taken as 1. West Pakistan (New York: 1956). which ASSOCIATED employed. 161.10-0. Miller and L. 612. Such can or fine soils. Vol. loam . p. In the north-west classes. has been deposited by streams texture and possesses different of agricultural textural Technical in the Lower upper while the cover levees have texture figure suggests that the per cent of sand are not widespread parts into Hunting clay loam in the of Agriculture analysis by encountered in Fig. op clt . textures to high-bar belong or coarse having to sands eighty-five deposits rough topography have smooth and certain there is a strip from the physical AND and fine-medium of alluvium. floodplains Plain majority clays layers. very fine sand 0.50 millimeter.

NORTH ..' +' 0' '""" \ I .WESTERN CANAL L-~--"" \. 0 .01 -I < / "'/ ::0 1 ) I / / / / /' 10 / I... .. \ / CANAL COMMAND BOUNDARIES ( :.~ ) / I I . I 0 \6 ~. \ .20 PAKISTAN GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW JANUARY .:.- { ( -- -..I 10 20 I MILES FIGURE 8 30 40 " 50 . <. --- /' »: BARRAGE \ / / I I .

DEPT~ FEET III G D ~ 0-4 t-~ 1> -. \ Z 0 c 5-8 !J) I I I 9 -12 > \ 12 / j FIGURE 9 1964 21 k..1969 ALLuviAL MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER INDUS PLAIN WATER -TABLE APRIL \ 1>. ..•.

0 27. Left Bank (N. hill torrents.S 56. In consequence.4 2.1 0.2 22.6 7.2 0.0 7.0 46. spills.M.5 31. All the rest of the commands have a high water-table.0 6.1 28. These tables further indicate that throughout the irrigated area the water-table is generally high.2 7.3 56. canals.P. loss of water due to evaporation from shallow water-table.7 Nil 20.3 1.0 61.3 Nil 0. 12-16 ft. P.4 42. 1) have considerably disturbed the balance that existed previously between the natural recharge of the aquifer through river and rain and the discharge of its water to the sea.8 Nil 1\. Canal Rice Canal Dadu Canal Khairpur Rohri Canal Nara Canal Tando Bago G. field irrigation.5 49.) SOllRCE: 0-4 ft. Table 3 TABLE I-PERCENTAGE OF AREA IN EACHWATER-TABLEDEPTH CLASSBYCANALCOMMANDS.PAKtStAN GEOGRAPHiCAL REVIEW JANUARY In the last century the water-table was very close to the stabilized natural watertable established by natural forces. transpiration by plants and removal of water by drains resulting in the rising of the water-table.4 0.M. 4-S ft. Rohri Canal Command and Tando Bago Perennial Area (eastern side only).2 81.1 O. surface infiltration of water by rainfall.2 5. In many areas it is either still rising or has risen to the extent as to reach a state of balance under the present intensities of cultivation.2 19.7 21. These tables indicate that the areas of low water-table are: Gudu Barrage Command Right and Left Banks. Nil 2.8 14.8 18.5 36. S-12 ft.5 24.0 31. 1964.8 1.2 3.0 3.5 39. APRIL.4 49. Rice Canal.4 7."WAPDA. and sub-soil flow of water towards the valley from adjacent higher areas now exceeds the down-valley outflow of water. The commands that have the greatest percentage of their area under water-table of four feet and less both in April and October are: Ghulam Muhammad Barrage Right Bank and Left Bank (non-perennial).8 Nil . Figures 8 and 9 show the canal command boundaries and depth to water-table respectively and Tables 1 and 2 show percentage of the area in each water-table depth class by canal commands for the months of April and October 1964 respectively.W.4 5. 92.9 97.8 25.0 0. seepage from river.5 0.6 50.3 Nil Nil 5. which fluctuates from season to season.2 2. PHYSICALRESOURCES. Gudu Right Bank and Nara Canal.8 10.7 0.7 23.456. 1965. 2.1 68. Right Bank (P) G.0 2.P.8 38.5 29.7 12. Below 16 ft. Right Bank (N.2 Nil 9.7 3.1 Nil 20. floods.) Gaja G.0 6.M.3 42. but the construction of barrages with a network of canals in the present cenlury(Fig. Vol. Command Gudu Left Bank Gudu Right Bank Pat Feeder Area N.8 "LOWER INDUS REPORT.

1 1.6 16.8 13. VOL.e Canal 84.0 55.8 12.4 Nil 23.8 8.0 11. per cent PHYSICAL RESOURCES. 0. Gudu Left Bank Glldll Right N'II.6 33. Bank Pat Feeder 4-8 ft.8 20.8 Ri(. area while of the area has eight feet and less in the month of October.) Gaja G.5 4. 4-8 ft.2 9. Canal Canal Khairpur Rohri Nara Canal Canal Tando G.0 Nil (P) 42.1 5.1 30.0 35. Below 16 ft.1 31.4 (N.3 16. 0-4 ft.P.5 Nil Nil Nil Dadu 13." WAPDA.4 12. Right Bank Right Bank SOURCE: "LOWER INDUS REPORT.1 10.0 3.2 22. TABLE 3-PERCENTAGE OF CULTIVABLE COMMANDED AREA IN EACH WATER-TABLE DEPTH CLASS.9 April 1964 Seasonal 1.6 Nil Nil Nil 7.6 1.6 60·3 21.3 21.7 2.9 8.1 29.4 12.5 15.2 79.5 Nil 22.1969 ALLUVIAL MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER INDUS PLAIN 23 TABLE 2-PERCENTAGE OF AREA IN EACH WATER-TABLE DEPTH CLASS BY CANAL COMMANDS.3 N.8 9. P.6 7. 457. G.0 499.1 37. OCTOBER.5 34.9 40.2 37.5 9. 1964 Perennial 2.4 0.9 0.M.6 1.1 24. shows the percentage the region has water-table sixty of cultivable as a whole.7 Nil 40.8 14.M.0 12.9 48. PHYSICAL RESOURCES.9 13. VOL.M.1 16.7 April 1964 Total 3.P.3 3.2 10. 12-16fl. 12-16 ft.8 33.2 9.9 13.5 October 1964 Total 37.7 10. P.6 3.4 SOURCE.8 41.5 64. 1964. 16.3 5. -------- "LOWER INDUS REPORT.7 20. area in each water-table sixty 0. .9 14.3 Nil Nil (N.4 April October 1964 Perennial October 1964 Seasonal 20.5 10. 2.5 46.8 0. 2. 0-4 ft. 1965.9 69. Bago Left Bank 68.W.0 5.6 8.l 1." commanded It reveals that over WAPDA. Area ------~ 23.8 12. Command Area 8-12 ft. 8-12 ft.5 Below 16 ft. 1965.2 3.0 I.) 73.9 depth class for per cent of the commanded of twelve feet and less from the surface in the month of April.5 11.

and the menace can be prevented open drains. adversely affected canal closure cultivable a varying com- Barrage Gudu Barrage have gone out of production by waterlogging. No. 1 (1961). P 3.2 (1960). 3. S . the high the and salinity. The cultivable the surface October. Muhammad Rice Canal Command. 2oH. reaches near the surface. 235. 21K. Vol. soils are bound of the Netherlands evaporation where or comes water-table that. 25. 26. in West Lands Pakistan. Ellgg. such a water-table will Mehta+s But Dr. Vlugter.8 per cent It is unfortunate manded in the month Right and Left Banks Bank stil1 larger areas Command areas of April land particularly been can be reclaimed of four feet and less from and 37. Vel. Proc. Bureau has ten feet or more from the surface soils are with water giving rise to waterlogging that in regions Reclamation is about an expert on Drainage and is fixed at three to four feet water and be somewhat no waterlogging. commanded is 3. "Some Aspects of Water Control Review. Cong. to in the Ghulam and Nara Canal Command have water by tube-wells. 28. of International suggested below the surface it reaches to show signs of waterlogging. water-table as a whole suffers from waterlogging Extensive tracts of once productive Right having that more than thirty-seven area of the region Command area The by canal lining. Ahmad Geographical contributed (within 19Mehta : "The Formation and the Reclamation of Thur Paper No. under process of waterlogging salinity of salts water 21 foot or 30 centimeters resulting from But waterlogging by below from preventing in the has effective water-table deposition surface drainage greatly thereby Salinity eight of salts in the to in the retarding is in fact due ten feet of the region of about one when the water evaporates.20 Assistance water-table stagnant of lands." in the Punjab. of degree. p.24 PAKISTAN GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW JANUARY Waterlogging In the area where water-table free from waterlogging sub-soils but where get saturated of the opinion surface. and waterlogged pumping of etc- at intervals Salinity Of the twin soil problems ging is comparatively extension of area of leaching to rise of saline ground surface) less severe." Review. 123. Vol. Vlugter: the menace of wa terlog- the Zone of plant roots. Lahore. 1\0..4 per cent in the month per cent of the (non-perennial). soils and is to six feet from the ground Technical if ground then there will be no from to. but it will not exceed one tenth of a free water surface. p. Pakistan ." Pakistan (1940) Geographical "Reclamation of Waterlogged and Saline Lands in West Pakistan. greater The than in the case of a ten feet deep one.

.9 2.ALLUVIAL 1967 MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER lNDUS PLAIN UPPER 25 SOIL SALINITY o • NON TO SALINE SEVERELY MODERATELY SALINE 2? . .> MILES FIGURE 10 5f .

brings Canal C out the mands as also in Khairpur Vol. the Rohri WAPDA. classes are directly related to the average Ec of both the upper soil and the substratum and the values give a fairly good idea of the amount of salt that must be removed from the upper soil for getting better crops. All the land in the region can be divided into two broad categories (a) non to moderately saline and (b) severely saline (Fig.S. The soil salinity profile ranges from 0-450 centimeters and is written in two numbers each of which denotes the salinity class e. upper soil 5 limit IS taken from 150-450 centimeters. 10). the former for the upper soil and the latter The salinity for the substratum. of three samples and this value ranging is used for from In the case of in depth from 10-50. Electrical Conductivity (saturation Salinity Class For purposes centimeters. 0-150 directly the Ec is obtained for the 250-350 and 350-450 centimeters. movement different the of salts most of dominant by capillary the electrical classes by Hunting conductivity at 25°C (Ec extract). It also very Barrage Left Bank land is of low salinity West Pakistan and clearly abandoned Physical Resources. of the substratum Ec is obtained 50-100 and 100-150 centimeters. while upper soil 0-4 an 4-8 8-16 16-40 2 3 4 Extract) of determining that average salinity. and magnesium may GEOGRAPHICAL also chlorides occur be due to solutions salts by evaporation factor for soil salinity in areas where are sometimes in the top-soil--". determining salinity class from the above given data. proportion 22Lower Indus Report. p. and less (non regional a greater and of the saturation moderately differences. in values Bureau of More than 40 Reclamation. 3/1.g . deposited present but calcium The applied as to their is certainly adopted salinity per the upward is saline under by using centimeter each presence and magnesium of dissolved irrigation salts sulphates in soils may water. salinity But action as well as shallow. The soils have been divided into millimhos consist of sodium chloride. .26 PAKISTAN sulphate REVIEW A greater proportion of salts deposited and occasionally sodium bicarbonate. Similarly an average substratum from samples ranging in depth from 150-250.. In Table-4 saline Gudu of the millimhos saline lands are those where extract in both upper soil per centimeter. 2. The non and moderately the average electrical and the substratum conductivity is less than sixteen saline lands it exceeds this figure. 259. while in the severely shows the percentages of class three salinity soils). sodium In the worst affected areas calcium at an earlier stage as well as from the concentration of the water-table JANUARY Technical Services of the saturation The range extract of Ec extract class is the same as that adopted by the U.

... tl PREDOMINANTLY CULTIVATED PREDOMINANTLY ABANDONED I===l CULTIVATED 8.--K--U-TFIGURE 11 c. ABANDONED t::::::j MIXE D [II] NEVER CULTIVATED SCALE 10 0 I .1969 ALLUVIAL MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER INDUS PLAIN 27 LAND USE D f.-O-F .H- 10 20 I MILES .

at a level a little higher than the surrounding of soil salinity. commands. and in both water-table Right Bank and Gudu Barrage TABLE 4-DISTRTBUTJON OF MODERATELY about is shallow. P. whereas Gudu Barrage Right Bank and Nara Canal Commands have one third of their area under this salinity class. Rohri and VOL. One can logically Bank and Rohri Canal but for Khairpur hold good. Cultivated Abandoned Never cultivated Gudu R.B. cannot be irrigated To show the distribution In Gudu line between percentages of areas under these soils in the different Canal and Khairpur lands 2.B. Commands Sukkur Barrage JANUARY Barrage because water-tables where water-table Conal and Gaja per cent of the bores drilled REVIEW arrive at this conclusion Commands Command In Nara GEOGRAPHICAL this reasoning half the In Ghularn Left are fairly deep does not abandoned land Muhammad Right Bank Commands is Barrage. 96 90 47 Sukkur R. the area of these commands being situated country by canals. 66 26 10 Ghulam R. mostly never cultivated lands are Barrage Command Right and land is of low salinity _ Most of salinity the dividing Left Bank. SALINE LANDS IN EACH COMMAND BY PERCENTAGE UNDER DIFFERENT LAND USE HEADS. while Ghulam Banks taken together have two thirds Muhammad Barrage Command of their area as severely saline. PHYSICAL and Khairpur these reasons Commands commands WAPDA. RESOURCES". for the purpose as far as Gudu is shallower. never abandoned other than salinity. are 336. 8l 24 54 Gudu L.B. iO 24 Khairpur 91 84 73 Rohri 94 74 78 Nara 81 42 30 Command Ghularn Muhammad R. uncultivated In for INDUS REPORT. only twenty-five showed low salinity.B. The Sukkur Barrage Command Right Bank has almost half. have a low Table 5 shows as the The Gudu Barrage percentage of severely saline soils. Right and Left .PAKISTAN 28 Command. 68 21 19 Muhammad SOURCE: "LOWER In Rohri of low Canal salinity. moderately cultivated and Left Banks about fifty per cent of the never cultivated 1965.B. severely Commands class 3/3 has been adopted saline soils. are concerned severely saline.

1969 ALLUVIAL TABLE 5-DISTRIBUTION MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOWER INDUS 29 PLA[N OF SALINITY IN THE REGION (PERCENTAGES OF AREAS UNDER COMMANDS). Relationship is also not very distinct.361. sixteen be explained in proximity soil evils The land situated and Barrage Com- per cent of the to be mainly due saline lands.·. in the of water or its absence to use outstanding USE of salinisation and due effects. table depth and upper and salinity equal soil of sites are found no definite relationship can soil salinity.B. of the cultivated : a) failure rampant map features: commands. of land ceases. LAND A study following of three land in the right on the never mands. salinity are due to seepage of soil com- . Command Moderately Saline Severely Saline 90 86 10 Khairpur Gudu 81 19 63 37 Rohri L. 14 63 37 52 48 Ghularn Muhammad L. 1965. in close proximity. because the saline part of the cover floodplain in proximity with the levee deposit is never cultivated.B. Lower almost constitutes development of water a) b) Rohri The maldistribution 23. p. therefore. Sukkur R.B. VOL. regions to left land bank bank Canal land in the Gudu abandoned land cultivable commanded of of waterlogging area Indus contiguous extensive tracts Command Barrage in lands and improper The two from canals running mences no sooner Ibid.pHYS1CAL RESOURCES". P. Plain efforts in never cultivated particularly and salinity. there are The levees are in fact the in them varies considerably and it is very difficult to find out whether it is due to landform or land use. b) deficiency to canal extremities and c) harmful of waterlogging rise in water-table process of abandoned of abandoned Muhammad canal maintenance in areas where there has been appreciable 11) reveals the of cultivated approximately can (Fig. irrigating 7. all classes of upper of water-table. tracts and c) patches and Ghulam This 23. number salinity WAPDA. 42. of class most saline of all the geomorphic since four all five salinity. 34 56 Ghulam Muhammad R.B.B. 33 67 SOURCE: "LOWER Since INDUS REPORT. Nara Gudu R. Salinity associated with all depths be established between waterbetween geomorphic features in almost and units. Vol. the landforms. 2.

7 million acres are uncultivable.406 "LOWER INDUS REPORT.790 Suk kur to Sehwan Non-cultivable and unproductive land Gross area Cultivated Forest 188 94 213 495* 119 107 358 584* 58 111 114 283* 53 75 149 277* I Sehwan to G. Apart from the excluding cultivated above mentioned fifteen acres.PAKISTAN 30 GEOGRAPHICAL JANUARY REVIEW Table 6 indicates that the three major commands viz. VOL.42. land to its cultivable WAPDA.366 2. 1. B. The remaining 834.924 392 3. 7.316 Total SOURCE: :- 8.802 298 3.645 2. The balance of more than thirteen million acres is either at present used for irrigated agriculture or is potentially irrigable. Total Cultivable land Productive Unproductive I I Command land. P. the per- fifty-six . G. unproductive land comprises area of the three major of unproductive thirty-six commands.000 acres consist of non-cultivable and unproductive TABLE 6-LAND I Barrage million USE SUMMARY (1.691 1.917 1965.6 million acres of which 418.279 1. A Gross area land Gudu 1.000 ACRES).000 acres are under forest (Table 7). B. PHYSICAL RESOURCES". Non-cultivated c. M.196 4. USE IN RIVERAIN AREA (1. PHYSICAL RESOURCES". TABLE 7-LAND River WAPDA.639 834 "Excludes main channel. per cent In individual commanded 1965. tract to Sukkur Gudu 13.436 1. c. 41. M. Sukkur and Ghulam Mohammad have a gross area of approximately fifteen million acres of which 1.000 acres are and 387.031 8. VOL.721 14.779 7. to Sea ---------------_.501 Ghularn Muhammad 1.000 ACRES). of the total cultivable commands area is the highest. P. 7. SOURCE: The commanded centage "LOWER INDUS REPORT._-----Total :- 418 387 1.470 1. the area between the river bunds the main channel consists of 1. Gudu.100 Sukkur 5.

bank Commands south of Hyderabad-- However. permanent swamps This concentration of the uncultivable area.5 per cent of their OF THE LOWER Mohammad Command the rest of the tween sand-hills Barrage PLAIN 31 Command. the transition cultivated be- area on the other. of the Nara Canal 19. and land use maps Figs. In the Ghularn occupy 185.000 acres and seasonal in the south-west and thirty swamps Command broad occupy Command. The non-cultivated land within these com- mands is such which can be developed In INDUS commands by canal irrigation the never cultivated provided etf~rts land represents and sand dunes on the one side and the already are made. accounted within nent for this category swamps fifty seasonal reaches Of this figure In the Rice Canal corner which have been included Command. reduce to a very considerable degree the area of land available LANDFORMS A comparative study of landform gives a clear understanding of the On the basis doned lands. environment and maladjustments studies. cultivated excluding the bar and levee deposits command. .000 acres. interpretation in land area is generally shortcomings. of the command respectively. seventy four per cent within the Ghulam and the remaining eighteen per cent is largely of land use. swamps lakes and 29. swamps Barrage representing account forty- for 246. it appears AND LAND for development.000 acres.000 acres or about 13 per cent of the gross area of the command. occupy concentrated for by the swamps accounts. and the lowest twenty-four forty-nine per cent in the The non-cultivable land in these commands accounts gross area. permanent and seasonal eight per cent is in the Rice Canal Mohammad Barrage Command. of the command. Lakes. The deltaic and abandoned floodplains Plain in the patches section floodplains are mostly mostly in Rohri land as it is almost of the plain in all of predominantly delta zone menace particularly on the left bank The meander lands due to the twin use. for 11.000 acres. reactions of mixed cultivated devoid of abandoned and in the southern human of aerial photographs that the cover flood plains consist cultivated free from natural tivated and In the middle section of the Lower Indus Canal Command the right of field USE. or eight per cent of the cultivable commanded area. of the river abandoned are predominantly saline consist of waterlogging and out of of mixed culand salinity. swamps and Mohammad acres. and large section which to and aban- in the northern Khan.ALLUVIAL 1969 MORPHOLOGY per cent in the still developing per cent in the Ghulam Gudu . 4 and 10 not only physical it but also reveals both adjustments scale maps.000 The seasonal perma- They are mostly three per cent of the area under lakes and permanent lakes and seven per cent 584. Tando Muhammad and never cultivated land are widespread. These two categories totalling 431.Barrage Sukkur Barrage Command.

therefore. has virtually soils deposition becomes by adding such soil of the are here however. together with of the Lower Indus Plain are obviously which have completely its earlier marine buried deposits the original to a depth the work of land surface of some of the thousand feet. parts available most a little recent sediments earlier having eighty-five of the meander nitrogen are much per cent of floodplains. capable of absorbing runoff from abjacent foothills as well as rainfall and seepage from the river and canals that traverse it. of their supporting The The bunds It can now no longer swing sideways. plain alluvial the deposits Indus. the forests generally run in a continuous stretch. sedimentation. control by erecting through to a more Under is now should be maintained on account easterly course such conditions plains restricted. onrush since it is rendered is bounded On unfit for agriculture by embankments forests are found in the area channel. CONCLUSION All one the river. to high bar deposits deficient and in alluvial clay. about in patches exculding twenty-five' or in strips of various the main channel per cent is cultivated and unproductive sizes.PAKISTAN 32 The tidal delta of constant is not cultivated. changes. over of soils depleted immature. Northward of Goth Mira almost upto Kashmor forests wherever encountered are generally river bunds. and phosphate but are . in organic up of its the flood- that the fertility of which and they are so no pedologically horizons. mark different of these sediments stratification with rapid of recent and '~at places sand are limited soils arc and vertical while a Il110st sandy. and more than fifty per cent is non-cultivable land. bunds excluding river the main of the lower Indus from Hyderabad to Goth Mira (about eight miles south of Sehwan) in the north in the south. The landforms A redeeming feature. There Sea. The active floodplain Riverain GEOGRAPHICAL either side of the between main the channel along most of its length. and Chuh ar Jarnali There are no forests to be found in a 10 miles strip south of Hyderabad due to the narrowness of the river channel. is very little or no profile development found tbe river to its own tendency of alluvium constituents crops through region confined but the natural still persists on account the natural It. channel. The deposited textures and certain matter. well sorted textures and reveal intricate those Soil of its building necessary origin is that they exhibit lateral are fine sandy loam to silty coa rser phases of a break the ages. The plain may be regarded as a fairly homogeneous aquifer likened to a huge sponge. JANUARY REVIEW on account of sea water at the time of high tide. and of transmitting this subterranean flow downslope to the Arabian Human channel. less than Of the total area between twenty-five per cent the is forested.

OF THE LOWER It is hoped that INDUS the PLAIN present 33 situation of low in soils will certainly improve with an increase in cropping intenimproving the physical characteristics of soils. alarming is severely saline considerable There is no dennite a drainage and are under various now per cent is moderately to which which in waterlogging pumsurface of lands. table is expected to rise in all the perennial areas evince a typical much change seasonal even where development areas where it is envisaged ping will supplies indirectly is alive to the formulated eight per cent a very can tube-wells is bound for but manifests existing conditions waterThe seasonal rice growing be expected greater water-table. in the commanded lands region and Ghulam approximately is mainly in proximity done by waterlogging Sukkur constitutes area. thereby irrigated. Abrupt changes in salinity over short distances are very common.1969 ALLUVIAL very productive MORPHOLOGY when organic content sities. because the along side the levee deposits is never cultivated. since a II classes of upper soil salini ty are found associated with all depths of wa ter-table. The levees are certainly the worst affected in this regard and the extent of salinity in them is also variable. It is difficult to make out whether it is due to landform or land use. rythm a high Many in the region. Relationship land use. in areas where increased to rise resulting of the assumed land system. proportion salt schemes the remaining with waterlogging of the cultivated water-table About depth and thirty- sixty-two is limiting land in the region. and salinity. utilizing without In perennial ground water. Abandoned the cultivable efforts and land in saline damage (Gudu. saline part of the cover floodplain . upper soil salinity. In such places salinity is associated with water-table depth. water-table need of providing has to persist water supplies. that no one factor can be considered ground inde- between water landforms salinity and and salinity is also not very clear. Mohammad) Within non-cultivated sixteen a failure per cent of of development maldistribution of water the three major lands are commands those which can be developed by canal irrigation. which due to with canal extremities. provided the drainage is good. About sixty per cent of the region has itself in the form of waterlogging of lands. provides to introduce control are inevitable Thus provision the water-table. of a drainage system in such areas is inevitable for bringing down It will not be out of place to mention here that the government for the purpose Salinity the water-table Under the commands. Since in almost all the landforms there are equal number of sites of class four and five salinity. In the remaining commands the never cultivated land represents the transition between sand-hills and sand-dunes on the one side and the already cultivated area on the other. These three factors are so closely interrelated pendently of the other two. affected and This soil defect together degree relationship the productivity between having been stages of execution.

It is now left to us to employ tiously and then culture and and intelligently. that. in which more detailed use of the land. spreading geological for different this study may prove to be of some advantage exists in indicating for a planned has enabled areas. damaged conditions as also In the in appreciating and present end it is hoped the relationship land may be undertaken use and to be directed must to check permanently correspond requirements their to lost to agri- local of agriculture. indeed. soils studies .PAKISTAN 34 It is. to redeem on account hydrological Efforts partially of it. very GEOGRAPHICAL fortunate that modern man to evolve effective methods to eradicate diseases. that science and technology lands as also those employed types of crops are raised in different JANUARY the harmful effects of the twin soil these methods to our advantage expedi- at first should Methods REVIEW between the direction and intelligent the geomorphic features.