JC Soils Types


Occur in area of coniferous forest

Coniferous forest provides little humus

Occur in areas of high rainfall – sometimes waterlogged

Heavily leached – produces hard pan

Hard Pan


Not very fertile

West of Ireland


Leaching – the washing of nutrients down through the soil beyond the reach of plant roots

Hard Pan – a hard layer of accumulated nutrients deep in a soil


Brown Soils

Occur in areas of deciduous forest

Deciduous forest provides a rich dark humus

Occur in areas of moderate rainfall – well drained soils

Leaching does not occur

Do not have hard pan

Dark Brown in colour

Very fertile

Suits most types of agriculture

Midlands and East and South of Ireland


Tropical Red Soils

Occur in tropical areas – Zaire, Congo, Brazil

Heavy weathering of parent material – produces deep soil

Weathering due to high heat and moisture levels

Red in colour – due to presence of iron oxides in parent material

Thin fertile layer – humus decays rapidly before nutrients enter the soil

In Brazil coffee is grown on fertile red soils

European style agriculture has led to soil erosion as rain forests are stripped to make farms


Peat Soils

Mountainous areas on impermeable bedrock

Occur in areas of high rainfall – poorly drained soil

Lack of oxygen, bacteria and micro-organisms

Humus not fully decayed – forms peat

Acidic Soil

Dark Grey or Black

Vegetation – heather, sphagnum moss

Coniferous forest – sheep grazing in some areas

Western seaboard


Gley Soils

Occur in cold, wet areas

Waterlogging – occur on impermeable rock/clayey soils

Leaching does not occur

Grey, Blue-green tinge

Not fertile

Provide grazing for animals

Mid-Ulster, Connaught, South Clare