Red Soil : Properties, Texture, Advanatge, Disadvantages, Importance & More

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Red soil may be defined as the type of soil that forms in a warm temperature, moist climate under deciduous or mixed forest, containing a thin organic and organic-mineral layer overlaying a yellowish-brown leached layer lying on a lilluvium red soil layer.

Red soils are generally derived from crystalline igneous rock. Their color is major because of ferric oxide (Fe₂O₃).

Iron content is responsible for its color. Red soil has higher iron, aluminum, and lime content most of the red soil has come into existence due to weathering of incident crystalline igneous rocks.





  1. Chemical Composition of Red Soil  


Organic matter1.01%





  2. Types of Red Soil  

The red soil is available in various types in nature. Here are the types of red soil mostly found:

a. Red Clay Soil

Red clay soil is known as Ultisols. They are kept in the twelve soil rankings, which were prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Taxonomy.

These are supposed to be mineral soils that do not own any calcareous material available to them.

These soils own 10% less weatherable minerals in the overly top layer and also maintain a saturation base of less than 35% throughout the soil.

We can discover ultisols in tropical regions that undergo humid temperatures. They are located in regions such as Africa, Asia, and South America.

Red Clay Soil

b. Red Loam Soil

According to investigators, this red loam soil is made by the decomposition of granite, gneiss charnockite, and diorite rocks.

These soils are seen to be cloddy, porous, and deficient in concretionary materials. These soils don’t hold sufficient nitrogen, phosphorus, and different organic materials. These soils hold a fine quantity of potash.

Red sandy loam soil is not suitable for agriculture because they are not that productive.

These soils are mostly located in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Eastern Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and many other states.

Red Loam Soil

c. Red Laterite Soil

Red laterite type of soil is rich in iron and aluminum.

They are generally composed in hot and wet tropical areas.

These soils are red because of the iron oxide content; this mineral provided the soil with a red coloration.

These soils are produced when the underlying parent rock starts intensive and prolonged weathering.

The regions where we can find the majority of laterites are located between the tropics of Cancer and the tropics of Capricorn.

Laterites are believed to be the origin of aluminum ores.

Red Laterite Soil

d. Red Yellow Soil

Red, yellow soil is a type of soil that is composed of broad-leaved forests. Generally, these types of forests are located in humid subtropical regions.

These soils are considered to have an acid reaction within them. The humus content in these soils is extremely negligible as compared to other soils.

The red-yellow color of the soil is due to the existence of ferric hydroxide in the soil.

As per numerous experts, the thickness of this soil varies between 30-70 cm.

The thickness of these soils alters in various locations. We can discover these types of soil in China, the Southern United States, southeastern Australia, and New Zealand.

Red Yellow Soil

e. Red Sandy Soil

This kind of soil is light, warm, and dry in nature. They grow to own acidic content in them and are low in nutrients.

Red sandy soil is commonly known as light soil because of an increased proportion of sand and less clay (clay forever weighs more than that sand).

These soils are comfortable to work with because they hold water drainage that is fast most of the time.

As these soils don’t contain an adequate quantity of nutrients and organic matter; thus, these soils are not preferable for cultivation.

These types of soils are poor fertility soils. These soils are located in regions where the rainfall is arid, semi-arid, and humid.

Red Sandy Soil

f. Red Gravel Soil

This type of soil is available with 20% gravel in the topmost layer; sometimes, it is higher than 20% also.

These gravels are spread and mixed throughout the entire soil.

This type of soil affects the growth of plants because of the gravel content.

These gravels work as a barrier to plant growth. Plants also can’t grow in these types of soils because they can’t obtain sufficient nutrients from red gravel soil.

This soil lacks fertilizers. The gravel attending in the soil pierces the roots generating damage to the plants. So it is clear that agriculture is not a suitable option for these soils.

Gravels present in the soil are used to break up the clay soil and make air pockets where oxygen is held. Plants that can develop in this type of soil are perennials, ornamental grasses, and herbs.


Red Gravel Soil





  3. Important of Red Soil  

Red soil is rich in iron oxide but low in nitrogen and lime. The color is red when it appears in the hydrate form as limonite the soil reaches a yellow color.

Progress in strength considerable advancement in imperviousness more opposition, and progress in workability.

Flexural strength separated tensile strength comprehensive strength, water.

The familiar type of rock that contributes to red soil is known as basalt. The process of weathering spilled down the basalt into tiny pieces, and then the tiny pieces are spilled down more into silt and clay. The iron oxides in the rocks are what provide the soil with its reddish color.

The fertility of red soil is due to its high levels of organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are necessary for plant growth. Red soil is also well-drained, which is necessary for agriculture.





  4. Test of Red Soil  

Varies types of test is conducted in

a. Sieve analysis

b. Comprehensive strength test

c. Flexural strength test

d. Water Permeability Test

e. Porosity test


a. Sieve Analysis

First arrange the sieve in the order of 4.75 mm to 2.56 mm, 1.18 mm, 600 microns 300 microns, 150 microns, 75 microns, and pan.

Take 1 kg of fine soil in keep it on the top of the sieve. Sieving is accomplished manually 15 times and the weight retained on each IS sieve is known. Employing the value gradient curve is made and construct a semi-log graph sheet to inspect the grade of red soil.


b. Comprehensive Strength Test

The standard mold size of 150*150*150 is employed for casting. Curing is accomplished for 14 days for concrete cubes and comprehensive strength is accomplished by CTM.


c. Flexural Strength Test

The standard mold size of 500*100*100 is employed for the purpose of casting. Curing is accomplished in 28 days. The flexural strength test is accomplished by the UTM machine.


d. Water Permeability Test

The standard size of 100*100 is employed for the purpose of casting. Curing is accomplished by a concrete cylinder and the water permeability test is accomplished by concrete a permeability apparatus for 14 days for ordinary mix and for partially substituted samples. The test is accomplished in 100 hours per sample.


e. Porosity Test

The standard mold size of 100*100 is employed for the purpose of casting. Curing is accomplished for the concrete cylinder and a porosity test is accomplished in a water tank for 24 hours and a hot air oven for 24 hours for 14 days for ordinary mix and partially substitute the sample.





  5. Advantage of Red Soil  

The advantages of red soil are as follows:

a. Red soil is fine soil that retains a huge portion of water than other types of soil.

b. Cultivating crops rice, sugarcane, wheat, pulse.

c. They are very well-suitable for dry farming.

d. It can be a good option to use in concrete.

e. Replacement and cement consumption is low when red soil is blended in concrete.

f. It withstands the fluid passage, hence it is impenetrable.





  6. Disadvantage of Red Soil  

The disadvantages of red soil are as follows:

a. The soil is thin poor, porous & has loose gravel.

b. It is poor in lime, phosphate nitrogen

c. Low water holding capacity.





  7. Crops Suitable for Red Soils  

Following are the types of crops that can be grown in red soil:

a. Bananas

b. Sugarcane

c. Oranges

d. Pineapples

e. Avocados

f. Carrots

g. Potatoes

h. Celery

i. Beets

j. Spinach

k. Beans

l. Peas

m. Corn.




  8. Properties of Red Soil  

The properties of red soil are as follows:

a. It is impenetrable

b. It retains a huge portion of water than other types of soil.

c. Well-drained

d. has higher iron, aluminum, and lime content




  9. Texture of Red Soil  

The texture of red soils can range from sand to clay, the most being loams. On the uplands, the red soils are poor, gravelly, and porous. But in the lower areas, they are rich, deep dark, and fertile.


Texture of Red Soil




  10. References  

1. Content Filter & Authenticity Checking Team, Dream Civil International

(Our team checks every content & detail to maintain quality.)





Read Also: Safe Bearing Capacity of the Soil


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