How is transported soil different from residual soil ?

There are two types of soil they are transported soil and residual soil. They differ from each other in terms of their origin, formation processes, and characteristics. Here we will discuss, how is transported soil different from residual soil.

Types of soil

  • Transported Soil
  • Residual Soil
How is transported soil different from residual soil ?

A) Transported Soil:

Transported soil is also known as transported sediment or extraneous soil. It is formed when weathered materials are transported from their original source position or location to a new location by continuous deposition.

It is mainly transported by natural forces and agents like gravity, wind, ice (from glaciers), water (from rivers, streams, and oceans), landslides, etc. 

Some examples of transported soil are alluvial soil (deposited by rivers and streams), aeolian soil (deposited by wind), glacial soil (deposited by glaciers), colluvial soil (deposited by gravity, landslides), etc.

Characteristics of Transported Soil:

a) Particle Size: The size of transported soil grains depends on the distance traveled and the agent of transporting soil from one place to another.

It has a wide range of particle sizes and a mixture of silt, clay, sand, and other minerals. The particle size of transported soil generally ranges from 0.002 mm to 2 mm in nature.

b) Uniformity: Transported soil relatively has uniform size due to the sorting process during transportation. Sometimes transported soils show distinct layers or horizons, depending on the depositional conditions and environment.

c) Parent Material: The parent material of transported soil is different from the underlying bedrock or geological formations of the area where it is found, as it has been transported from elsewhere.

Transported soil has been transported from another location so the parent materials of transported soil are different from the underlying bedrock or geological formations of the place where it has been deposited.

B) Residual Soil:

Residual soil is also known as sedentary soil or in situ soil.  Residual soil is formed from mostly the weathering of rock and remains at the location of its origin without being transported to another location. The depth of residual soil varies from 5 meters to 20 meters.

Weathering process may be caused by mechanical weathering, chemical weathering, and biological weathering.

Residual soils can include particles having a wide range of sizes, shapes, and compositions depending upon the amount and type of weathering and the minerals in the parent rock. The rate of weathering is generally greater in warm, humid regions than in cool, dry regions.

It is formed by the slow breakdown of the parent soil or bedrock materials over time, in the same location where the bedrock is situated.

Some examples of residual soil are laterite soil (Found in tropical and subtropical regions with intense weathering), podzol soil (Common in coniferous forest regions with acidic parent material), red clay soil (Formed from weathered volcanic rocks), etc.

Characteristics of Residual Soil:

a) Parent Material: Residual soil is formed due to the weathering of this parent material. So, The parent material of residual soil is the same as the underlying bedrock or geological formations of the location.

b) Particle size: Residual soils have particle sizes similar to the parent rock. But some weathering may cause changes in the particle size distribution of the rocks formed.

c) Homogeneity: Residual soil does not undergo the sorting process of transportation. So, The earth is relatively homogenous in composition. and Residual soils do not have well-defined layers since the weathering process occurs in the same location.

How is transported soil different from residual soil ?

S.NAspectTransported SoilResidual Soil
1.Formation ProcessFormed by transportation soil particleFormed by the weathering soil parent soil
2.Origin of MaterialIt transported from outside sources of soilFormed from the underlying bedrock or geological formations of the place
3.Particle SizeWide range of particle sizesSimilar to the parent rock, although some changes may occur due to weathering
4.SortingWell-sorted particlesRelatively homogenous composition compared to transported soil
5.LayeringIt may be formed in different layersLess pronounced layering compared to transported soil
6.Parent MaterialDifferent from the underlying bedrockSame as the underlying bedrock
7.ExamplesAlluvial soil, Aeolian soil, Glacial till, Colluvial soilLaterite soil, Podzol soil, Red clay soil

Some FAQs

Q.1) What are transported soil and residual soil examples?

Ans:- The example of transported soils are Alluvial soil, Aeolian soil, Glacial till, Colluvial soil, etc and the example of residual soil are Laterite soil, Podzol soil, Red clay soil, etc.

Q.2) What is the difference between residual and transported?

Ans:- The main difference between residual and transported soil is, transported soil is formed by the moving of soil particles from one place to another by natural means but residual soil is formed at the place of the parent rocks mass.

Q.3) How is transported soil different from residual soil?

Ans:- Transported soil is different from residual soil by the mode of transportation, reason for formation, size of the particle, formation of layers, etc.

Q.4) Similarities between residual soil and transported soil?

Ans:- Similarities between residual soil and transported soil are given below,

  1. Composition: Both soils contain organic matter, weathering products, and mineral particles (sand, silt, clay), etc.
  2. Parent Material: Both come from the deterioration of minerals and rocks from parent rocks.
  3. Weathering Influence: Both were formed as a result of weathering processes.
  4. Properties: Physical and chemical characteristics like texture, color, fertility, and nutrient content are present in both.
  5. Agricultural Uses:- Both have applications in agriculture, building, and landscaping.
  6. Erosion:- Erosion is a possibility for both types of soil.

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"Structural Engineer" with over 5 years of experience in estimation, structural design, and surveying. I am passionate about using my skills to create safe and sustainable structures. I am also a keen writer, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with others.