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Apr 17

Describe how laterization occurs?

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Apr 17
Laterization occurs through a process of chemical weathering in tropical and subtropical regions. It begins with the leaching of soluble minerals such as silica, calcium, and magnesium from the soil by heavy rainfall. This leaching process leaves behind a residue of iron and aluminum oxides, which give laterite soils their characteristic red color.

As the iron and aluminum oxides accumulate in the soil, they form a hard, impermeable layer known as a laterite cap. This cap prevents further leaching of minerals and nutrients from the soil, leading to nutrient-poor conditions that are not conducive to plant growth.

Over time, the laterite cap can become thick and compacted, making it difficult for plant roots to penetrate and access the underlying soil. This can result in stunted plant growth and low agricultural productivity in laterite-rich areas.

Overall, laterization is a natural process that occurs over thousands of years and is influenced by factors such as climate, topography, and vegetation cover.

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