Radioactive Minerals and Soils UPSC Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

UPSC : Radioactive Minerals and Soils UPSC Notes | EduRev

The document Radioactive Minerals and Soils UPSC Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims.
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Radioactive Minerals

  • Uranium: The uranium reserves in the country is estimated to be about 70,000 tonnes. Located in Jharkhand (Jadugooda mines), Himachal Pradesh, U.P. and Bastar region of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Thorium: Thorium is processed from the monazite sands of Kerala and Tamil Nadu coast, India possesses largest thorium reserves in the world.
  • Beryllium: Beryllium is found in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. It is used as a moderator in the nuclear power generation.

Soils

Alluvial Soils. Agriculturally the most important soils are the alluvial ones. It covers about 24% of the country’s total area.

  • Mainly found in Central plains extending from Punjab to Assam; Eastern and Western coastal plains and deltaic region.
  • Alluvial soil is transported or intrazonal soil. Geologically it is divided into Khadar (newer) and Bhabar (older).
  • The soil is, however, deficient in nitrogen and humus content; unsuitable for water retentive plantation e.g. cotton, because it allows water to sink into the lower strata.
  • Crops: Rice, wheat, sugar-cane, vegetables etc.

Black Soils. Block soils cover an area of 5.18 sq. km; also called regur soil.

  • Found in Deccan trap, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, U.P. and Rajasthan (in patches).
  • Black soils are usually deficient in nitrogen phosphate and humus but rich in potash, lime, almunium, calcium and magnesium.
  • Crops: Cotton, cereals, oilseeds, tobacco, groundnut, citrus fruits.

Red Soils. They comprise of red loams. Due to oxidation of ferro-magnesium these soils have developed in peninsular India.

  • Occupies about 70% of the total area in Tamil Nadu, Chotanagpur, few portions of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. It covers an area of about 90,800 sq. km. most extensive of all soils.
  • Light texture and porous structure; absence of lime, kankar, carbonates, humus, phosphoric acid, and neutral to acid reactions.
  • Crops: Cereals (specially rice), bajra, wheat, pulses, tobacco, potatoes, fruits, sugar-cane; with irrigation facility the productivity increases tremendously.

Laterite Soil. These are formed under conditions of high rainfall and temperature with alternate wet and dry periods. Exfoliation is observed in laterite soil

  • Found in Vindhyan plateau, Satpura, Mahadeo and Maikal ranges in M.P., West Bengal (Midnapur, Burdwan, Bankura, Birbhum), Eastern Ghat region (Cuttack and Ganjam district) south Maharashtra Karnataka, (Shimoga, Hasan, Kadur, Mysore), Kerala (Malabar region) and few patches in Assam.
  • Laterite soils are rich in oxides of iron and aluminium, but poor in nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash and lime content due to leaching; highly acidic in nature.
  • Crops: Rice, ragi, sugar-cane, tea, plantation and cashewnuts.

Arid & Desert Soils. These soils, characterised by high salt and low humus content, are to be found in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Rann of Kutch and other rain-shadow regions.

Saline and Alkali Soils. These soils develop along arid region in small patches. Also called reh, kallar and usar, they are infertile but can be reclaimed by good drainage.

  • These soils are found in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, U.P. and Bihar.

Soil Erosion. Soil erosion is the wearing away of the top soil layer by natural agencies like rain, sun, wind, and also as a result of human and animal interference.

Water erosion. Water erosion may be caused by rivers or rain.

  • Sheet erosion. The soil is eroded as a layer from the hill slopes, fallow land. This happens in the Himalayan foothills, north-eastern region, Western and Eastern Ghats.
  • Rill erosion. An advance form of sheet erosion, here the water tends to concentrate within the streams. It leads to deep ravines.
  • Gully erosion. This is an advance formof rill erosion. Here cutting of soil is of immense size and the entire topography becomes badland.
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