Basrah Soils; Geochemical Aspects and Physical Properties- A Review


The sediments of Basrah soils are mainly clayeysilt and siltyclay with subordinate amount of sand. Starting from Qurna toward Arabian Gulf, the sand fraction decreases and silt size increases downstream. The fine textures of these soils aided in retain water in soil and development of salt crust under high degree of evaporation. And hence the development of saline soils mainly in low land area. Basrah Soils are characterized by their wide spectrum of mineralogical composition, non-clay minerals( Calcite, dolomite, Quartz , halite , gypsum and feldspar), clay minerals (Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite, Palygorskite, Chlorite, and Mixed-layred clay minerals), and heavy mineral (Opaque, pyroxene, hornblende, chlorite, biotite, epidote, garnet, Kyanite, staurolite, celestite, zircon and tourmaline).The organic matter content has wide range in present soils, it is amount depends upon the intensity of vegetation cover and the rate of plant remains oxidation. The detrital supply of clastic materials controlled the concentration of silica and aluminum, plant nutration controlled the concentration of Fe and K, climatic condition and hydrogologic setting controlled the accumulation of Na, Ca and Mg in Basrah soils. The values of major elements in Basrah saline soils survive seasonal fluctuations because of precipitation and dissolution alternative processes.