In the northern ecoregion, soils vary from fertile to poor. Soils with underlying volcanic rocks can display excellent physical properties. Papakauri is a soil type that is friable and free-draining, with good structure. Its bright red is due to iron oxide haematite, which makes up around 5% of the subsoil. Most soils north of the major volcanic centres of Auckland and the Coromandel are deeply leached clay soils. Many are not very fertile.
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Reference: Les Molloy, Soils in the New Zealand landscape: the living mantle. Wellington: Mallinson Rendel, 1988, plate 5.4
Photograph by Quentin Christie
© New Zealand Society of Soil Science
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