The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 1: Earths and Soils

Naming soils

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1147. In cases where the earthy part of a soil evidently consists of the decomposed matter of one particular rock, a name derived from the rock may with propriety be applied to it. Thus, if a fine red earth be found immediately above decomposing basalt, it may be denominated basaltic soil. If fragments of quartz and mica be found abundant in the materials of the soil, which is often the case, it may be denominated granitic soil; and the same principles may be applied to other like instances. In general, the soils, the materials of which are the most various and heterogeneous, are those called alluvial, or which have been formed from the depositions of rivers; and these deposits may be designated as siliceous, calcareous, or argillaceous ; and in some cases the term saline may be added as a specific distinction, applicable, for example, at the mouths of rivers, where their alluvial remains are overflown by the sea.