Soils of India ICSE Class 10 Geography Important Questions

ICSE Class 10 Geography Study Material

Students of ICSE Class 10 should refer to Soils of India ICSE Class 10 Geography Questions below which have come in past board exams. You should always go through questions that have come in previous years. This will help you to understand the pattern of questions in ICSE Class 10 Geography and prepare accordingly. This will help you to get better marks in ICSE Class 10 Board Exams

ICSE Class 10 Geography Soils of India Important Questions

Students should learn the important questions and answers given below for Chapter Soils of India in Geography for ICSE Class 10. These board questions are expected to come in the upcoming exams. Students of ICSE Class 10th should go through the Important questions and answers ICSE Class 10 Geography which will help them to get more marks in exams.

Board Exam Questions Soils of India ICSE Class 10 Geography

Soils of India ICSE Class 10 Geography Important Questions

State or name

a. Soil which is formed by decomposition of metamorphic rocks


Red Soil

b. Soil which is agriculturally most significant


Alluvial Soil

c. Soil which forms ‘in situ’ due to weathering of basalt


Black Soil

d. Soil which forms as a result of leaching


Laterite Soil

e. Older alluvial soil



f. Younger alluvial soil



g. Soil which is also called ‘regur’


Black Soil

h. Soil which lies at its place of origin


Sedentary Soil

i. Soil which has more than 60% clay and less than 10% sand


Clayey Soil

j. Soil which has more than 60% sand and less than 10% clay


Sandy Soil

k. Soil which has sand and clay in an even proportion


Loamy Soil

Name the soil which is

a. Rich in iron but poor in silica


Laterite Soil

b. Rich in humus


Deltaic Alluvial Soil

c. Rich in potash but poor in phosphorous


Alluvial Soil

d. Rich in lime, iron, magnesium, calcium carbonate, alumina and potash but poor in nitrogen and phosphorus


Black Soil

e. Suitable for dry farming


Red Soil

f. Difficult to cultivate as it becomes sticky during the rains


Black Soil

Name the Soil which is found in

a. Coastal strip of Deccan Plateau
Coastal Alluvial Soil

b. Windward side of the Western Ghats
Laterite Soil

c. Chhota Nagpur Plateau
Laterite Soil, Red Soil

d. Delta of Krishna
Deltaic Alluvial Soil

4. Define Soil.
Soil is the thin (5-8 metres) uppermost layer of the earth’s crust, which is capable of supporting life on earth.

Question. List the steps through which soil formation occurs.
Ans. Soil formation is called pedogenesis. It involves the following steps. Step 1: Rocks are weathered either physically or chemically Step 2: Dead organic matter present on the earth is decayed and disintegrated by bacteria forming humus. This process may happen simultaneously with weathering Step 3: Weathered rock material and humus are mixed together due to the action of percolating water, which distributes minerals through the soil.

Question. List the four main components of soil and their significance.
Ans. Component               Significance
Minerals                      Give colour and texture to the soil
Humus                        Gives fertility to the soil
Air                               Used by plant roots for respiration
Moisture                     Plants can absorb minerals if dissolved in water; also safeguards against erosion

Question. Briefly describe the factors affecting soil formation.
Ans. a. Parent rock: It determines its mineral composition, texture, and colour.
b. Climate: Climate is responsible for the weathering processes, moisture content and humus content of the soil.
c. Topography: Areas of high relief, i.e. mountains will have a thin soil cover. On the other hand,areas of low relief, i.e. plains and valleys will have a thick soil cover.
d. Time: A layer of soil 1 metre thick would usually take between 3000 to 12000 years to form. The maturity of the soil would therefore depend upon the time taken for its formation.

Question. State the two most important factors that determine the types of soils found in India.
Ans. Climate and parent rock are the two major factors determining the types of soils found in India.

Question. What do you understand by humus?
It is the organic matter which is formed by the decomposition of plant remains, dead animals and manure. Humus contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which determines the fertility of the soil.

Question. How is soil important to man?
Most of our food items like cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, clothing, etc., are obtained directly or indirectly from the soil. A large number of human and economic activities depend on the soil. Fertile soil attracts a large number of people and human settlements.

Question. What are the major types of soils found in the Indian Subcontinent?
Ans. a. Alluvial soil
b. Regur or Black soil
c. Red Soil
d. Laterite soil
e. Desert soil
f. Mountain soil
g. Marshy soil
h. Saline and Alkaline soil

Question. Place in two broad categories the soils of India on the basis of their formation.
Ans. a. Residual or Sedentary soils: These are found where they are formed; hence they are called ‘in situ’. Black soil, Red soil, and Laterite soil are the examples of residual soils.
b. Transported soil: These are carried down by agents of gradation such as rivers and wind. Alluvial soil, Desert Soil and Loess are the examples of transported soils.

Question. How are alluvial soils formed?
Ans. Alluvial soils are formed from materials like silt, gravel and sand, brought down and deposited by rivers. In the coastal plains, the sea also leaves deposits of silt which results because of sea wave erosion. The silt, in turn, mixes up with humus and forms alluvial soil.

Question. Why are the alluvial soils important agriculturally?
Ans. Agriculturally, the alluvial soils are the most important as they are rich in minerals, especially potash and lime. In addition, they have a loamy texture which facilitates the retention of water as well as respiration by plant roots.

Question. What are three different types of alluvium found in India?
Ans. a. Deltaic alluvium in West Bengal and Orissa.
b. Coastal alluvium in Peninsular India.
c. Inland alluvium in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa.

Question. What are the two types of alluvial soils? Where are they found in India?
Ans. a. Khaddar (Newer alluvium): It is found in the lower lands in the plains. It is loamy, porous and more fertile than Bhangar as new layers are deposited year after year during floods.
b. Bhangar (Older alluvium): It is found in the higher parts of the plains on river terraces away from rivers. It contains lumps, is clayey, non-porous and less fertile than Khaddar.

Question. Mention the main characteristics of alluvial soils.
Ans. a. Alluvial soils are transported soils as they have come into existence because of the silt deposition brought by the rivers and wind.
b. They are fertile as they are rich in minerals like potash and lime.
c. They have a loamy texture.
d. Deltaic alluvial soil is rich in humus content. Other alluvium is poor in nitrogen and phosphorus.
e. Alluvium of the Ganga valley is faint yellow and consists of a mixture of sand, clay and organic matter.
f. Alluvium of the Godavari and Krishna valleys is clayey, non-porous and brown in colour as these rivers flow over black soil.
g. Alluvial soils cover an extensive area.

Question. How are Black soils or Black Cotton soils or Regur soils formed?
Ans. Black soils are formed by in situ weathering of lava (basalt) rocks. Hence, they are also known as volcanic or lava soils. These are sedentary soils.

Question. What is the advantage of ‘clay’ contents in Black soils?
Ans. Clay contents increase the capacity of black soils to retain moisture.

Question. State the salient features of Black soils.
Ans. a. Black soils are widely spread over the Deccan Plateau, comprising large areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
b. They vary in colour from deep black to chestnut brown.
c. They are rich in iron contents and, hence, are black in colour.
d. During rains, they become sticky and during dry days, they develop cracks. Hence they are difficult to cultivate.
e. They hold moisture which is released to the plants during the dry period.
f. These soils are best-suited for cotton and sugarcane cultivation.
g. They are rich in lime, iron, magnesium, calcium carbonate, alumina and potash (LIMCAP), but deficient in phosphorus, nitrogen and organic matter.
h. They are also known as Regur soils in Maharashtra and Black Cotton soils in Peninsular India.

Question. Mention some properties of Red soils.
Ans. a. Red soils are formed in situ by weathering of the ancient crystalline and metamorphic rocks.
b. Red soils are rich in iron; hence, they are red in colour.
c. They are less fertile as they lack nitrogenous, phosphorous and organic matter.
d. The productivity of the red soils increases with regular use of fertilizers.
e. They have a good moisture retention capacity.
f. They are suited for dry farming as it does not require much moisture.

Question. Where are Red soils found in India?
Ans. Red soils are found in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, eastern part of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and in the Chhota Nagpur Plateau of Jharkhand. 

Question. How are Laterite soils formed?
Ans. Laterite soils are formed in situ as a result of leaching of essential silicates under typical monsoonal conditions in hilly areas where there are high temperatures and heavy rainfall with alternating wet and dry seasons.

Question. Where are Laterite soils found in India?
Ans. In India, laterite soils are found on the highland areas (windward side) of the Western Ghats, Kerala, Chhota Nagpur Plateau and the hills of Assam and Meghalaya.

Question. What are the salient characteristics of Laterite soils?
Ans. a. Laterite soils are leached soils because alternating dry and wet spells cause the soluble silica to be removed.
b. They are acidic in nature and coarse and crumbly in texture.
c. In the upper layers, the compounds of iron and aluminium become higher giving a reddish colour to the soil.
d. Lack of nitrogen, potassium and organic matter make these soils unsuitable for cultivation.
e. These soils support pastures and scrub forests.
f. With the use of manures, coffee, rubber, cashew, etc., can be grown on these soils.

Question. What do you understand by the following terms?
a. Sheet Erosion
b. Rill Erosion.
c. Gully Erosion
d. Stream Bank Erosion
e. Slip Erosion

Ans. i. Sheet Erosion: When a surface layer of the top soil is removed over a large area by running water, it is called sheet erosion.
ii. Rill Erosion: In the second stage of sheet erosion, small finger-like rills begin to appear on the surface. With the passage of time, these rills become deeper and wider. They reduce area under cultivation.
iii. Gully Erosion: When soil is eroded by water flowing along definite paths along the slope or in channels, it is called gully erosion.
iv. Stream Bank Erosion: In times of floods, the continuously flowing water erodes the banks of streams and rivers. Gradually the bed of the river widens.
v. Slip erosion: During heavy rains, water percolates into the soil until it is unable to penetrate further by the underlying impervious rock. On steep land, the heavy, moisture laden soil often comes down badly, resulting in a landslide.

Question. Briefly explain the following terms.
a. Deforestation
b. Deccan Traps
c. Leaching
d. Soil Erosion
e. Contour Ploughing
f. Strip Cropping
g. Crop Rotation
Ans. a. Deforestation: The removal of trees of an area of land by felling or burning is called deforestation. The process of deforestation is deliberate in order to make the land available for other uses.
b. Deccan Traps: The word ‘trap’ is Swedish which means steps. The term describes the step-like rock formation that covers the north-western part of the Deccan Plateau.
c. Leaching: It is the downward movement of material in solution or colloidal suspension within the soil profile due to heavy rainfall. This phenomenon is responsible for the removal of essential silicates from the top soil resulting in laterite soil.
d. Soil Erosion: It is the process of removal of soil, either mechanically or chemically. Wind, water and human activities are the main agents of soil erosion.
e. Contour Ploughing: It is the cultivation of soil according to contour lines, i.e., at the right angles to the hill slopes.
f. Strip Cropping: It is the cultivation of crops in strips to check the fast-blowing winds.
g. Crop Rotation: It is the cultivation of crops in a year in such a sequence that the fertility of the soil is not reduced.

Question. What are the main causes of soil erosion?
Ans. The main causes of soil erosion are
a. Natural Causes
i. Topography such as steep slopes
ii. Torrential Rainfall
iii. Strong Winds
iv. Nature of soil such as dry and loose soil
b. Human Causes
i. Deforestation
ii. Overgrazing
iii. Improper farming techniques

Question. State the causes of soil erosion in
a. Shiwaliks or the Outer Himalayas
b. North-eastern parts of India
c. Arid regions of India
d. Hilly areas of the south
e. Northern Madhya Pradesh
Ans. Following are the causes of soil erosion in the above mentioned areas.
a. Shiwaliks or the Outer Himalayas: Destruction of vegetation cover has resulted into large scale soil erosion. A large amount of debris comes down the slopes of Siwaliks and chokes up the rivers and causes floods. Here, landslides and land slips are very frequent.
b. North-eastern parts of India: Frequent floods due to heavy rains and stream bank cutting are very common. These are the main causes of soil erosion in Assam, West Bengal and hilly regions of Northeast. 
c. Arid regions of India: Rajasthan, southern Punjab and south-western areas of Haryana are subjected to soil erosion by wind action.
d. Hilly areas of the south: Here steep slopes, heavy rainfall and unscientific methods of cultivation are responsible for the soil erosion.
e. Northern Madhya Pradesh: In northern M. P. (Chambal River Valley) very long dry spells followed by sudden rainfall causes excessive gully erosion along the ravines of the Chambal River giving rise to a characteristic landscape of badlands called ‘beehad’.

Question. What is soil conservation?
Ans. It is an effort made by man to prevent soil erosion, or at least to reduce the rate of soil erosion, to retain the fertility of the soil.

Question. Why should we take steps to conserve soil?
Ans. Soil is the mother of all plants without which no human being can survive, so we must take necessary steps for its conservation. 2.5 cm thick layer of soil takes thousands of years to form.

Question. What are the different methods of soil conservation?
Ans. a. Afforestation or planting of trees in deforested areas saves the soil from erosion caused both by water and wind.
b. Construction of check-dams is an important method of checking soil erosion in the upper course of the rivers.
c. Overgrazing should be checked. Grazing should be limited according to the size of the pasture.
d. Gullies should be plugged by stone dams, wire netting or by raising trees across gullies to check the flood water.
e. Shelter belts of trees and shrubs should be planted to check wind velocity in arid regions.
f. Proper farming techniques, i.e., strip cropping, contour ploughing and terracing of hills should be adopted for soil conservation.

Question. Briefly describe some soil conservation schemes implemented in India.
Ans. They are as follows
a. Integrated Watershed Management – The objective of this scheme is to divert large quantities of rain water into artificial reservoirs, which will in turn reduce the silt load in the rivers, help control floods and prevent soil erosion.
b. Reclamation and development of Ravine areas – This is joint initiative undertaken by the governments of M.P., Rajasthan and Gujarat which aims at reducing soil erosion in the Chambal Valley through
i. Afforestation in ravine areas
ii. Reclamation of shallow ravines by filling mud and rocks
iii. Building bunds across hill slopes to prevent further development of ravines.
c. Control of Shifting Agriculture – Jointly undertaken by the governments of the seven northeastern states, this programme aims at reducing shifting agriculture and subsequent waste of agricultural land by afforestation and helping tribal people
i. To practice terraced farming
ii. To raise horticultural plantations

Question. Name one area where laterite soil is found on a large scale.
Ans. Laterite soil is found on the summits of the Western Ghats, particularly the windward side which receives heavy rainfall.

Question. Why is laterite soil unsuitable for agriculture? 
Ans. This soil is not fertile as many of the essential components like lime and silica are washed away by the process of leaching. In addition, this soil has a crumbly texture and is acidic in nature.

Question. What is the type of soil which is widely distributed over the Ganga plain?
Ans. Alluvial soil.

Question. Answer the following

i. Name one soil of volcanic origin commonly found in India.
Ans. Black soil or Regur soil.

ii. Name one crop widely grown on this soil.
Ans. Cotton is grown widely on this soil.

Question. What is the leached soil? Name one Indian soil that has been formed by leaching. 
Ans. After harvesting, farmers leave the soil bare for some time. During rainfall, some of the nutrients of the soil are leached or washed away. Such soil is called leached soil. Laterite soil is formed by leaching.

Question. What is the most widespread transported soil of India?
Ans. Alluvial soil is most widespread transported soil in India.

Question. Name the soil known for its self-ploughing quality and the capacity to hold moisture. Name two cash crops for which it is specially suited.
Ans. Black soil. The two crops for which it is specially suited are cotton and sugarcane.

Question. Name the transported soil most widely found in India. State two sub-categories into which it is generally divided. What are their local names and which one of them is superior to the other?
Ans. Alluvial soil. The two sub-categories in which it is divided are newer alluvium and older alluvium. The local name of newer alluvium is Khadar and that of older alluvium is Bhangar. Khadar is superior to Bhangar.

Question. Give a single word for each of the following:

i. ‘The loose rock material, together with humus, forming the uppermost layer of the earth’s crust and serving as a source of food and moisture for plants.
Ans. Soil

ii. ‘The process of percolation by which valuable mineral nutrients are washed down from the top layer of the soil only to deposit them in the lower layers, making thereby the topsoil infertile’’. 
Ans. Leaching

Question. How are laterite soils formed and where are they found in India? 
Ans. Laterite soils are formed under typical monsoon conditions of high temperature and heavy rainfall with alternate wet and dry periods. They are mainly found in the highland areas of the Peninsular Plateau

Question. Name four major soil types found in India, leaving out desert and mountain soils. [1996]
Ans. The soil types found in India are
i. Alluvial soil
ii. Red soil
iii. Black soil and
iv. Laterite soil.

Question. The most suitable soil for growing cotton and sugarcane in Maharashtra is black soil.
Ans. i. It is rich in iron, potash, lime, calcium carbonate, aluminium and magnetism.
ii. Its self-ploughing characteristic helps in aeration due to deep and wide cracks during dry season.

Question. Which soil is found suitable for growing coffee in Karnataka? 
Ans. In Karnataka, laterite soil is suitable for growing coffee.

Question. State how destruction of vegetation cover increases the soil erosion.
Ans. Vegetation cover protects the soil from erosion as the roots of the trees and plants hold the soil particles together and strengthen the soil. Therefore, the destruction of vegetation cover increases the chances of soil erosion.

Question. Name the soil which is found due to high temperature and heavy rainfall with alternating wet and dry periods. Name two states where this type of soil is found. 
Ans. Laterite soil. The two states where this soil is found are Karnataka and Kerala.

Question. Name one state where laterite soil is found. 
Ans. Karnataka.

Question. Answer the following questions.
Ans. i. Which soil do you associate with the Deccan Trap?
ii. State one of the advantages of this soil.
i. Lava or Black soil.
ii. This soil can hold water.

Question. State two methods of soil conservation.
Ans. Afforestation and Controlled grazing

Question. How does the soil of Ganga-Yamuna plain differ from that of central Maharashtra?
Ans. The soil of the Ganga-Yamuna has been deposited by the sediments brought by rivers. This soil is rich in potash but poor in nitrogen, whereas the soil of central Maharashtra is black soil which contains lime, iron, magnesium, calcium carbonate, alumina and potash. The soil of the Ganga-Yamuna plain is loamy while the soil of central Maharashtra is clayey.

Question. Name the type of soil found on the summit of the Eastern Ghats. 
Ans. On the summit of Eastern Ghats, the main soil is laterite soil.

Question. With reference to the red soil in India.
Ans. i. Name two states where it is found.
ii. In India, the two states where red soil is found are Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
iii. State two disadvantages of the above named soil. 
1. Red soil is less fertile as it is deficient in phosphorous, nitrogen, lime and humus.
2. It is coarse and crumbly in texture.
iv. Mention two advantages of black soil. 
1. Clay contents in black soil have increased its capacity to retain moisture.
2. During dry period, it develops deep cracks which help in aeration or air circulation.

Question. Define ‘leaching’. In which region, south of the Tropic of Cancer can one find soil formed by leaching?
Ans. Leaching is the movement of the organic matter and mineral salts from the upper region of the soil into the lower region of the soil due to heavy rainfall. On the highland areas of Western Ghats on can find the laterite soil formed by leaching.

Question. State two main differences between alluvial soil and red soil.
Ans. Two main differences between alluvial and red soils are as follows:
i. Alluvial soil is a transported soil while red soil is residual.
ii. Alluvial soil is very fertile while red soil is not.

Question. State two differences between Khadar and Bhangar soils. 
Ans. Khaddar soil Bhangar soil
1. It is newly deposited alluvial soil.                    1. It is old deposition of alluvial soil.
2. It is more fertile and found in upper layer.      2. It is less fertile and found in lower layer.

Question. Why is laterite soil unsuitable for the cultivation of crops? Name an area in India where this soil is found.
Laterite soil is unsuitable for cultivation due to leaching which renders the topsoil infertile. An area in India where laterite soil is found is the summits of Western Ghats and Meghalaya.

Question. How is Regur soil formed? Mention four important properties of Regur soil.
Ans. Regur soil is formed due to denudation of lava rocks. Its four important properties are as follows.
i. It is self-irrigatory
ii. It is a deep fine grained soil
iii. It is dark in colour
iv. It is rich in lime, iron and potash.

Question. Differentiate between sheet erosion and gully erosion. 
Ans. When topsoil gets eroded from very large areas due to fast flowing rivers it is called sheet erosion. Gully erosion occurs when running water etches out deep rivers creating badland topography in an otherwise normal landscape.

Question. State two differences between black soil and alluvial soil. 
Ans. Black soil is formed by weathering of volcanic rocks and alluvial soil is a transported soil is a transported soil.

Question. Mention three ways by which soil can be provided nitrogen artificially. 
Ans. i. By growing leguminous plants.
ii. By providing manure or fertilisers like urea, NPK.
iii. By providing the soil with manure.

Question. Explain the need for soil conservation in India. State two methods of soil conservation. 
Ans. Soil conservation is important in India because of large repletion and increase in population. Two methods of soil conservation are
i. Proper farming techniques
ii. Afforestation

Question. How is red soil formed? State two reasons for the low productivity of red soil. 
Ans. Red soil is formed by the decomposition of old crystalline or metamorphic rocks. Two reasons for the low productivity of red soil are
i. Leaching takes place frequently
ii. It is deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus and lime.

Question. Mention two important characteristics of laterite soil.
Ans. i. Laterite soils are caused by leaching of silicates in hilly regions which receive heavy rainfall.
ii. As a result of leaching, laterite soils become deficient in lime and silicates and enriched in iron and alumina.

Question. Name an area of black soil in India. Mention two crops which can be grown in this soil.
Ans. An area where black soil is found in India is the Deccan Plataeu (Maharashtra, Karnataka, M.P.). Two crops which can be grown on this soil are cotton and groundnut.

Question. How is alluvial soil formed? Why is this soil agriculturally important? 
Ans. Alluvial soil is formed when transported sediments brought by rivers mix up with humus. This soil is agriculturally important as it responds well to irrigation and manuring and is good for the growth of both kharif and rabi crops.

Question. Name two important agents of soil erosion. For each stat one method of controlling the erosion caused.
Ans. Two important agents of soil erosion are running water and wind. To prevent erosion by running water, dams and barrages can be built which can check the speed of water down the slope. To prevent erosion by wind, indiscriminate felling of trees must be stopped. Also, strip cropping can control soil erosion by wind.

Soils of India ICSE Class 10 Geography