Story: Soils

Soil complexity

Soil complexity

Almost every landscape in New Zealand has a complexity of soils. This is the result of prolonged depositing of airborne or alluvial soil, erosion by rivers and streams, and the subsequent re-sorting and depositing at new locations. This has left a topographic pattern ranging from steep slopes to flat terraces of various ages, with associated differences in soil qualities. This part of the Rangitīkei River has sedimentary-derived hills (background), high terraces with a deep loess cover, lower terraces (bottom left) with a thin loess cover, and Recent soils on the flood plain adjacent to the river.

Using this item

Massey University
Reference: Les Molloy, Soils in the New Zealand landscape: the living mantle. Lincoln: New Zealand Society of Soil Science, 1988, plate 6.2
Photograph by Quentin Christie

© New Zealand Society of Soil Science

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How to cite this page:

Allan Hewitt, 'Soils - Soil patterns and properties', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2024)

Story by Allan Hewitt, published 24 Sep 2007