Authored by: H. Curtis Monger , Randal J. Southard , Janis L. Boettinger

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:


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Vast areas of the Earth, roughly one-third of the total land surface, are in arid regions. Such aridity results from their position relative to mountain ranges that scavenge moisture, their latitude around 30° where convective Hadley cells create enduring high pressures, or their great distances from large bodies of water (Ahrens, 1991; Figure 33.65). Rainfall in these dry climates is insufficient to maintain perennial streams, and the soils typically have little organic matter, contain pedogenic carbonate, and because their soil profiles are of the “nonflushing type”(Rode, 1962), contain soluble minerals otherwise leached from humid soils (Southard, 2000). The dominant soil order in arid regions is the Aridisol order, which, with the exception of the Entisol order, covers more of the Earth’s surface than any soil order in the Soil Taxonomy system (Wilding, 2000).

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