In India, the arid soil is mainly found in parts of Western Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab and extends up to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. They are one of the most prevalent soil orders in the world. It is also called desert soil in some places.
Following are the important features of arid soil
1. Mostly, the arid soil is red and brown in colour and sandy in texture.
2. By nature, it is saline. Owing to the presence of dry climate and high temperature, evaporation occurs at a faster rate. This soil lacks humus and moisture.
3. Due to high calcium content, the bottom horizon of this soil is occupied by ‘Kankar’ which restricts the infiltration of water through the soil.
4. The soils contain a considerable amount of soluble salts. Due to dry climate and absence of vegetation, it also contains a very low percentage of organic matter.
5. The soil is alkaline in nature as there is no rainfall to wash soluble salts.
6. These soils are very infertile, but with proper fertilizers and irrigation, the drought resistant and salt tolerant dry crops such as barley, cotton, wheat, millets, maize, pulses, etc., can be grown.
7. After proper irrigation, these soil become cultivable as has been in the case of western Rajasthan.
8. Arid soils are most characterized by their water deficiencies. Most arid soils contain sufficient amounts of water to support plant growth for no more than 90 consecutive days.
9. Arid soils typically contain high levels of calcium carbonates, gypsum, as well as sodium.
10. This soil is usually not suited for major crop production owing partial moisture content and accumulated soluble salts. However, if properly managed and irrigated, it can become productive. We have some notable soils in the world which are classified as arid soils, nevertheless are notable for their unique fertility.