-A soil profile is a vertical section from the ground surface to the parent rock.
Diagram of Typical Soil Profile
10 Points about Latosols or Lateritic Soils
Latosols are soils rich in iron, alumina, or silica and are formed generally in wet woodlands under very humid climate and high temperatures.
Characteristics: Low Humus, Heavy Leaching, Short Nutrient Cycle, Red Colour, Can support very Rich Vegetation, May have A Brick –Like Surface Sometimes.
Leaching is intense in this soil because of the very hot and wet climate hence only iron and aluminium compounds remain, this gives the soil its red colour. The nutrient cycle is also short because there is fast plant growth and rapid decomposition. This means that humus is formed and used before leaching occurs.
The main process involved in this soil formation is called laterisation: this is where loose topsoil is eroded and the iron and aluminium layers are exposed and due to the high temperatures it bakes these layers into a brick- lick component where it is now known as a laterite.
Eluviation- is the transportation of dissolved or suspended material within the soil by movement of the water when rainfall exceeds evaporation
Illuviation- is the accumulation of dissolved material in one area or horizon as a result of eluviation.
Eluviation occurs a lot in latosols in concordance with leeching as it causes the iron and alumina to be washed to a certain level before it is eroded.
Illuviation also occurs in latosols as alumina and iron is accumulated in one area or horizon before the loose topsoil over it is eroded.
The conditions which give rise to the formation of the soil type are the humid and wet climate and weathering.
Leaching in this soil is due to the excessive amount of rainfall , over 2000mm each year. It is the process by which nutirents and elements are washed into the layers of the soil.