Morphological and Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Classification of Vertisol Developed on Deltaic Plain


The name of Vertisol is derived from Latin “vertere” meaning to invert. This case restricts development of soil horizons in profile. These soils have the capacity to swell and shrink, inducing cracks in the upper parts of the soil and distinctive soil structure throughout the soil. The formation of these specific features are caused by a heavy texture, a dominance of swelling clay in the fine fraction and marked changes in moisture content. The swell-shrink behavior is attributed to the wetting and drying of the soil mass. In this study, morphology, physico-chemical characteristics and classification of vertisols that were formed on alluvial delta plains, were investigated. Those soils formed on the Bafra Plain found in the K?z?l?rmak Delta and located in the central Black Sea region of Turkey. All studied Vertisols are characterised by a dark colour in surface soil, a heavy clayey texture, hardpan formation under top soil (high bulk density a high compaction) and very high COLE values. In addition, they have deep wide-opened desiccation cracks at the surface, slickensides at the middle part of the profiles and a poor differentiation of their horizons. Physico-chemically, the studied soils are slightly basic to very basic, non-saline and poor in organic matter, which is slightly higher in the surface horizon. In addition, cation exchange capacity, sum of exchangeable bases and base saturation of soils are very high. On the basis of morphological and physicochemical analysis, soil profiles were classified as Sodic Haplustert, Typic Calciaquert, Sodic Calciustert according to Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff, 1975 and 1999) and as Sodic Vertisol and Calcic Vertisol according to FAO/ISRIC (2006) classification systems.

Share and Cite:

O. Dengiz, M. Saglam, F. Sarioglu, F. Saygin and C. Atasoy, "Morphological and Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Classification of Vertisol Developed on Deltaic Plain," Open Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2012, pp. 20-27. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2012.21004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] N. Ahmad and R. L. Jones, “Genesis, Chemical Properties and Mineralogy of Limestone Derived Soils, Barbados, West Indies,” Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Vol. 46, 1969, pp. 1-15.
[2] J. S. Hosking, “A Comparative Study of the Black Earths of Australia and the Regur of India,” Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, Vol. 59, 1935, pp. 168- 200.
[3] D. V. Bal, “Some Aspects of the Black Cotton Soils of the Central Provinces,” Transactions of the 3rd International Congress of Soil Science, Vol. 3, 1935, pp. 154-158.
[4] G. W. Kunze, H. Oakes and M. E. Bloodworth, “Grumusols of the Coastal Prairie of Texas,” Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 27, No. 4, 1963, pp. 412-421. doi:10.2136/sssaj1963.03615995002700040019x
[5] C. B. Brown and G. S. Bally, “Land Capability Survey of Trinidad and Tobago,” Government Printer, Port of Spain, 1968.
[6] A. R. Mermut, D. F. Acton and C. Tarnocai, “A Review of Recent Research on Swelling Clay Soils in Canada,” In: J. M. Kimble, Ed., Proceeding of the Sixth International Soil Correlation Meeting, Characterization Utilization of Cold Aridisols and Vertisols, Soil Survey Division US- DASCS, Washington DC, 1990, p. 253.
[7] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Report on the Soil Survey Project of British Guiana,” FAO, Rome, 1966.
[8] P. Duchafour, “Pedologie 1 Pedogenese et Classification,” Masson, Paris, 1977.
[9] N. Ahmad, “Vertisols,” In: L. P. Wilding, N. E. Smeck and G. F. Hall, Eds., Pedogenesis and Soil Taxonomy. II. The Soil Orders. Developments in Soil Science IIB, Elsevier. Amsterdam, 1983, pp. 91-123.
[10] G. Rodrigues and F. Hardy, “Soil Genesis from a Sedimentary Clay in Trinidad,” Soil Science, Vol. 64, No. 2, 1947, pp. 127-142. doi:10.1097/00010694-194708000-00005
[11] N. Ahmad and A. Marmut, “Vertisols and Technologies for Their Management,” Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1996.
[12] G. D. Hubble, “The Cracking Clay Soils, Definition, Distribution, Nature, Genesis and Use,” In: J. W. McGarity, E. H. Hoult and H. B. So, Eds., The Properties and Utilization of Cracking Clay Soils, Review in Rural Science, University of New England Armidale, New South Wales, 1984, pp. 3-13.
[13] Soil Survey Staff, “Soil Taxonomy. A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys,” U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington DC, 1975.
[14] Soil Science Society of America, “Glossary of Soil Science Terms,” SSSA, Wisconsin DC, 1997.
[15] P. M. Driessen and R. Dudal, “Geography Formation, Properties and Use of the Major Soils of the World,” The Netherlands and Catholic University, Luven, 1989.
[16] Anonymous, “According to FAO-UNESCO and New Soil Taxonomy the GDRS,” General Directorate of Rural Services, Ankara, 1999.
[17] G. ?zsoy and E. Aksoy, “Characterization, Classification and Agricultural Usage of Vertisols Developed on Neogen Aged Calcareous Marl Parent Materials,” Journal of Biological & Environmental Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2007, pp. 5-10.
[18] Soil Survey Staff, “Soil Taxonomy USDA Agricultural Handbook,” Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington DC, 1999.
[19] G. J. Bouyoucos, “A Recalibration of the Hydrometer Method for Making Mechanical Analysis of Soils,” Agronomy Journal, Vol. 43, 1951, pp. 435-438. doi:10.2134/agronj1951.00021962004300090005x
[20] G. R. Blacke and K. H. Hartge, “Bulk Density,” In: A. Klute, Ed., Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods, American Society of Agronomy- Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 1986, pp. 363-382.
[21] Soil Survey Staff, “Soil Survey Manual. USDA, Hand- book,” Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington DC, 1993.
[22] Soil Survey Staff, “Procedures for Collecting Soil Samples and Methods of Analysis for Soil Survey,” U.S. Gov- ernment Print Office, Washington DC, 1992.
[23] D. W. Nelson, L. E. Sommers, “Total Carbon, Organic Carbon and Organic Matter,” In: L. A. Page, R. H. Miller, D R. Keeney, Eds., Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Methods, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, 1982, pp 539-579.
[24] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/ International Soil Reference and Information Centre, “World References Base for Soil Resources,” World Soil Reports, Rome, 2006.
[25] V. B. Nico, “Soil Formation,” 2nd Edition, Kluwer Academic Publisher, Secaucus, 2002.
[26] P. A. Tamfuh, E. D. Woumfo, D. Bitom, D. Njopwouo, “Petrological, Physico-Chemical and Mechanical Characterization of the Topomorphic Vertisols from the Sudano- Sahelian Region of North Cameroon,” The Open Geology Journal, Vol. 5, 2011, pp. 33-55.
[27] B. P. Yerima, “Weathering and Genesis of Volcanic Ash-Influenced Vertisols and Vertisol-Like Soils of El- Salvador,” Master’s Thesis, Texas A&M University, College Station, 1983.
[28] H. Ekinci, H. ?zcan, Y. Yigini, V. Cavusgil, O. Yüksel and Y. Kavdir, “Profile Developments and Some Properties of Vertisols Formed on Different Physiographic Units,” International Soil Congress on Natural Resource Management for Sustainable Development, Erzurum, 2004.
[29] H. Jenny, “The Soil Resource,” Springer, New York, 1980.
[30] T. Bhattacharyya, P. Chandran, S. K. Ray, C. Mandal, D. K. Pal, M. V. Venugopalan, S. L. Durge, P. Srivastava, P. N. Dubey, G. K. Kamble, R. P. Sharma, S. P. Wani, T. J. Rego, P. Pathak, V. Ramesh, M. C. Manna and K. L. Sahrawat, “Physical and Chemical Properties of Red and Black Soils of Selected Benchmark Spots for Carbon Sequestration Studies in Semi-Arid Tropics of India,” Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report, No. 35, 2007, p. 239.
[31] C. A. Stiles, “Pedogenic Relationships in a Vertisol Climosequence Defined by Geochemical Mass Balance of Whole Soil and Chemistry of Iron-Manganese Nodules,” Ph.D. Thesis, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2001.
[32] M. Jamagne, “Fundamentals and Techniques of Soil Mapping,” Annals of Agronomy Journal, Vol. 18, 1967, pp. 271-414.
[33] R. K?z?lkaya and O. Dengiz, “Variation of Land Use and Land Cover Effects on Some Soil Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Soil Enzyme Activity,” Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, Vol. 97, No. 2, 2010, pp. 15-24.
[34] K. R. Islam and R. R. Weil, “Land Use Effects on Soil Quality in a Tropical Forest Ecosystem of Bangladesh”, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 79, No. 1, 2000, pp. 9-16. doi:10.1016/S0167-8809(99)00145-0
[35] R. Dudal, “Dark Clay Soils of Tropical and Subtropical Regions,” Agriculture Development Paper, No. 83, 1965, p. 161.
[36] D. F. Yule and J. T. Ritchie, “Soil Shrinkage Relationship of Texas Vertisols Small Cores,” Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 44, No. 6, 1980, pp.1285-1291. doi:10.2136/sssaj1980.03615995004400060031x
[37] S. K. Shirsath, T. Bhattacharyya and D. K. Pal, “Minimum Threshold Value of Smectite for Vertic Properties,” Australian Journal of Soil Research, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2000, pp. 189-201. doi:10.1071/SR99051
[38] D. McGarry, “The Structure and Grain Size Distribution of Vertisols,” In: N. Ahmad and A. Mermut, Eds., Vertisols and Technologies for Their Management, Develop- ments on Soil Science, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 231-259.
[39] U. P. Pillai and D. McGarry, “Structure Repair of a Compacted Vertisol with Wet-Dry Cycles and Crops,” Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 63, No. 1, 1999, pp. 201- 210. doi:10.2136/sssaj1999.03615995006300010029x
[40] C. Culpin, “Farm Machinery,” 10th Edition, Grand Publishing Ltd., London, 1981.
[41] R. L. Hill, “Long-Term Conventional Tillage and No-Tillage Effects on Selected Soil Physical Properties,” Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 54, No. 1, 1990, pp. 161- 166. doi:10.2136/sssaj1990.03615995005400010025x
[42] P. K. Singh, and Y. Singh, “Effect of Reduced Tillage on Soil Properties, Root Growth and Grain Yield in Rice-Wheat System,” Indian Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 30, 1996, pp.179-185.

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.