Nitosols and Acrisols in Soil Science

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12 Questions

What are the parent materials for Nitosols?

Trap series volcanics, volcanic ash, and metamorphic rocks

Why are Nitosols poor in soluble minerals like potassium and calcium?

Due to the leaching effect of high rainfall

What causes the reddish-brown color of Nitosols?

The presence of iron (ferric) oxides due to leaching

Which of the following statements about Acrisols is true?

They are one of the most inherently infertile soils of the tropics

Where are Nitosols dominantly found in Ethiopia?

Western highlands, southwestern highlands, southern highlands, central highlands, and eastern highlands

Where are Acrisols found in Ethiopia?

Along with Nitosols in some pockets of southwestern highlands with high rainfall

Which of the following statements about Vertisols is correct?

They develop on volcanic plateau basalt, trachyte and pyroclastic materials.

Which of the following soils are characterized by little evidence of pedogenic processes, shallow depth, and coarse texture?

Lithosols and Cambisols

Which of the following statements about Xerosols, Yermosols and Solanchaks is NOT correct?

They are rich in humus content and nitrogen.

In which regions of Ethiopia are Yermosols and Solonchaks commonly found?

Ogaden and Afar plains

Which of the following statements about Fluvisols is correct?

They are associated with fluvial (river), marine (sea) and lacustine (lake) deposits.

Which of the following soil types are commonly found in the Danakil and eastern Ogaden regions of Ethiopia?

Lithosols and Regosols

Study Notes

Nitosols and Acrisols

  • Develop on gently sloping ground with parent materials including trap series volcanics, volcanic ash, and metamorphic rocks
  • Strongly weathered soils, but more productive than most tropical soils
  • Associated with highlands, high rainfall, and originally forest-covered areas
  • Poor in soluble minerals like potassium, calcium, etc. due to leaching
  • Rich in non-soluble minerals like iron and aluminum
  • Reddish-brown color due to high concentration of iron (ferric) oxides
  • Found in western, southwestern, southern, central, and eastern highlands of Ethiopia
  • Acrisols are inherently infertile, degrade quickly, and have low resilience to degradation
  • Found in southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, often alongside Nitosols


  • Heavy clay soils with a high proportion of swelling clays when wet, and cracks when dry
  • Extremely difficult to manage, but with high natural chemical fertility
  • Develop on volcanic plateau basalt, trachyte, pyroclastic materials, sedimentary rocks, and alluvial plains
  • Found in Northwestern, Central, and Southeastern highlands of Ethiopia

Lithosols, Cambisols, and Regosol

  • Found in rugged topography and steep slopes
  • Little evidence of pedogenic processes, resulting in young, shallow, and coarse-textured soils
  • Low water-holding capacity, limited agricultural use, and often left under natural plant cover for grazing
  • Found in Central Highlands, Rift Valley Escarpments, and highlands of western Hararghe, Danakil, and eastern Ogaden

Xerosols, Yermosols, and Solanchaks

  • Soils of desert or dry steppe areas with high salt content, low organic content, and poor humus and nitrogen
  • Rich in phosphorus and potash, and can be fertile with irrigation
  • Xerosols have low organic content, are prone to wind erosion, and have soluble salt concentration
  • Yermosols are drier and more problematic than Xerosols
  • Solonchaks are saline soils that develop in areas of high evaporation and capillary action
  • Found in Ogaden, northeastern escarpments, Afar plains, and salty plains of Afar


  • Develop on flat or nearly flat ground, on recent alluvial deposits
  • Associated with fluvial, marine, and lacustine deposits

Learn about Nitosols and Acrisols, two types of soils with distinct characteristics and parent materials. Discover how Nitosols develop on gently sloping ground and their association with highlands and high rainfall areas. Explore the differences in soil properties due to leaching and weathering processes.

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