Red Mediterranean soil

Red Mediterranean soil

In pedology, red Mediterranean soil, also known as terra rossa is a soil classification that has been formally superseded by the formal classifications of systems such as the FAO soil classification, but that is still in common use. The terra rossa classification was still, as of 1997, a part of the national soil classifications of countries such as Israel and Italy. The UNESCO/FAO World map equivalents are the chromic luvisols (a sub-order of the luvisols), and the USDA soil taxonomy equivalent is the rhodustalfs (a sub-order of the ustalfs).cite book|title=Mediterranean Ecogeography|author=Harriet D. Allen|pages=79–81|date=2001|publisher=Pearson Education|isbn=0582404525]

The classification denotes red-coloured soils (sometimes called "red rendzinas") that develop in or on the karstic landscape of the limestones of the Miocene and earlier periods, as well as calcretes in regions where the modern Mediterranean climate is predominant. Red Mediterranean soils developed most vigorously from the Miocene to the Late Pleistocene, because those that the periods where the climate fluctuated the most.cite conference|booktitle=Quaternary Deserts & Climatic Change: Proceedings of an International conference on Quaternary Deserts and Climatic Change at Al Ain, UAE, December 9–11, 1995|editor=A. S. Alsharhan, K. W. Glennie, G. L. Whittle, and C. G. St. C. Kendall|pages=229|date=1998|publisher=Taylor & Francis|id=ISBN 9054105976|title=Paleoenvironmental conditions of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene in Anatolia, Turkey|author=I. Atalay] cite book|title=Geography: An Integrated Approach|author=David Waugh|pages=274|date=2000|publisher=Nelson Thornes|isbn=017444706X]

Terra rossa occurs in areas where heavy rainfall causes carbonation out of the calcium carbonate parent rock and silicates are leached out of the soil to leave residual deposits that are rich in iron hydroxides, the cause of the red colour. Such areas are usually depressions within the limestone, or areas where the vegetation is garrigue.


Further reading


See also

* brown Mediterranean soil
* red brown earth
* non-calcic soil
* cinnamon soil

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