Picture Gallery

This side is still under construction. It describes soils mainly found outside Europe. The soils are named according to WRB.


The Ferralsol was shown to 1 m depth


The arial photo shows the landscape the presented Ferralsol developed in

The shown Ferralsol from Brasil is a typical tropical soil. Like other Ferralsols it is situated in a landscapes fairly stable for ages. Such soil are deep and strong weathered, they look quite uniform from top to bottom and show red to yellow colours.

The name Ferrasols derives from the three Latin words: „ferrum“, „aluminium“ and „solum“. This indicates the enrichment of iron and aluminium in this soil by the loss of most other elements which were washed out during some millions of years. Ferrasols are rich in the clay mineral Calonite. Therefore, they have nearly no ability to bind ions serving as source for the nutrition of plants. These poor soils are also acid and Phosphorus is strongly retained by iron and aluminium.

On the other hand, Ferrasols look well structured and their soil material appears lightweight. If you tap on a Ferrasol, it will answer with a hollow sound. All this indicates a high number of pores in Ferrasols. Although, these pores are too large to keep much water for plants longer than a day.

Under primeval forest, only the first 10 to 50 cm of these deep soils will participate in an fast and intense nutrient cycling. If this dynamic of reuse is interrupted by clearing, the soil will rapidly become depleted by nutrients.

In summary: Ferralsols are easily penetrated by roots, but the roots will only find little water and nutrients but much of aluminium being toxic for the root growth. Ferralsols need fallow periods, mulching or manuring for proper cultivation.



A Durisol in the Namib Dessert, shown to 1 m depth


Vegetation and Landscape at the South Atlantic Ocean

The soils wide spread in dessertes like the Namib are the Durisols. These soils were formed during numerous thousands of years under dry climate. They have a subsoil cemented by silica. This cementation is due to the formation of silica minerals in the subsoil of the Durisols.

Rare rainfall and flooding causes leaching of silica in silica rich, acidic soils under dry climate. Than, the downwards transported silica accumulates in the subsoil where it hardens as the soil dries out.

Durisols are sparely vegetated. Mostly, they could be used for extensive grazing only.

In exceptional cases, the hardened subsoil is mechanicaly broken. This, for melioration by the immense power of a caterpillar, pulling one single blade. Decades of weatheringing are needed, before vine could be grown after such actions. Vine yard manager reproted from excellent vine qualities, gained from grapes grown on such soils.



The visible groundwater level of the Solonchak in the Namib, near Swakopmund, has reached the depth of 60 cm. A crust has developed on the soil surface (…). Salt accumulations are easily visible, because of its whitish colour.


The Surface of the ‚Puffy Gleyic Solonchak‘ on the floodplain. Below, the puffy surface is shown in detail:


Solonchaks are widespread at seashores. In aridic and semiardic climates. Solonchaks occure at places where the groundwater level is high. There, sodium chlorite (common salt) and sodium sulfate are transported upwards to the soil surface by capillary ascending water. Therefore, the electrical conductivity is high. In contrast to Solonetz, Solonchaks did not show a significant clay enrichment in the subsoil.

Only extensive grazing and growing of date palm and alfalfa is possible at such sites.