Ferralitic Soil

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ferralitic Soil


any one of a group of soils that form in the humid tropics as the result of chemical weathering (accompanied by decomposition of most of the primary minerals, except quartz, and accumulation of secondary minerals, such as kaolinite, goethite, and gibbsite) and by the accumulation of humus beneath forest vegetation. They typically have a low silica content and a high content of aluminum and iron.

Ferralitic soils exhibit a low cation exchange capacity and high anion absorptive capacity, a soil profile that is primarily red and patchy yellow-red, and a strong acid reaction. Fulvic acids predominate in the composition of the humus. The profile of ferralitic soils reveals an upper humus horizon ranging from 1–1.5 to 8–10 percent humus; the structure of the middle section differs for different subtypes, but it generally shifts gradually from the humus horizon to parent rock. The profile also exhibits eluvial and illuvial horizons, concretions of manganese and aluminum, various forms of laterite, and gleying.

Ferralitic soils include red-yellow, red, laterite (with a laterite horizon), ferralitic-gley, and other soils. They are widespread in South and Central America, Central Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and northern Australia. They are suitable for the cultivation of rice, coffee trees, rubber trees, cacao, sugarcane, and oil palms. Ferralitic soils are sometimes called lateritic soils.


Pochvovedenie, 2nd ed. Edited by I. S. Kaurichev. Moscow, 1975.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Materechera SA, Mkhabela TS (2001) Influence of land-use on properties of a ferralitic soil under low external input farming in southeastern Swaziland.
21 This ferralitic soil profile in Sierra Leone (western Africa) is quite typical: the horizons show very little differentiation.
Ferralitic soils include both the highly washed soils of the rainforests and the moderately washed soils of the wet savannahs.
The plantation was established 25 years ago after forest clearing on a ferralitic soil with gibbsite and kaolinite (Ferric Acrisol according to the FAO classification, Blasco et al.
Due to the low fertility of the ferrisols and ferralitic soils in this region, use of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers to enhance yields is highly recommendable.
immigrants over a century ago, are today cultivated in a coastal belt of ferralitic soils over an area of 4,724 hectares (11,673 acres), down from 10,800 hectares in the early 1990s; about two-thirds of that consists of orange groves.
Moderately deep, mountain ferralitic soils are dominant in the area, accompanied by karstic outcrops.
Humbel FX (1975) A study of soil-macroporosity based on permeability data: application of a filtration model to ferralitic soils of Cameroon.
immigrants over a century ago, are cultivated in a coastal belt of ferralitic soils over an area of 10,800 hectares (26,690 acres); two-thirds of that consists of orange groves.
Larre-Larrouy MC, Feller C (1997) Determination of carbohydrates in two ferralitic soils and their particle-size fractions: analysis by capillary gas chromatography after derivation by silylation.
Caliman JP, Olivin J, Dufour O (1987) Degradation of sandy ferralitic soils in oil palm cultivation through acidification and compaction-correction methods.
immigrants over a century ago, are today cultivated in a coastal belt of ferralitic soils over an area of 10,800 hectares (26,690 acres); about two-thirds of that consists of orange groves.