Morphological, Physical and Chemical Properties of Soils from North West Himalayas

1Department of Soil Science, Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur (Kangra, Himachal Pradesh) - 176 062 India
2Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sundernagar (Mandi, Himachal Pradesh) - 174 402 India
3College of Agriculture, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Jammu, Main Campus Chatha (Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir) - 180 009 India
4Department of Agronomy, Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur (Kangra, Himachal Pradesh) - 176 062 India


MAHAJAN, A., S. K. SHARMA, R. D. GUPTA and R. SHARMA, 2007. Morphological, physical and chemical properties of soils from North West Himalayas. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 13: 607-618

Six representative soil profiles (two each from vegetables, paddy and maize growing areas) from Balh Valley District Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (India) lying in North West Himalayas were studied for their morphological, physical and chemical properties. The results show that soils are deep, well drained, silty loam to silty clay loam with dark brown to brownish yellow in colour. No gravels were noticed upto 0.6 m depth and the soil consistency was firm to loose. Few to many black brown concretions were observed only in rice growing soils. Silty loam was the dominant texture of the soils irrespective of soil depth. Coarse sand fraction was more in all soil profiles. In none of the soils except Dhangu, illuviation of clay had been observed. The values of bulk density, particle density and porosity were variable depending upon organic carbon and other soil characteristics. The soils were slightly acidic to neutral in reaction, medium to high in organic carbon with high contents of exchangeable bases (Ca2+ and Mg2+) and moderate in available N, P and K status. The DTPA-extractable Fe, Zn, Cu and Mn were also high in these soils. Similarity in the colour and texture in most of the soils indicated the dominant influence of parent material as reported by Robinson in 1949.

Key words: Morphological and physico-chemical properties; Available nutrients; Balh Valley, North West Himalayas; India

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