Soil types

Soil types

The soil types of the central Myanmar dry zone regions are formed depending on the underlying bed rocks and the weather. The whole region is covered with sedimentary rocks since ages ago to date. The types of the rocks are soft sand stones, shales and clay rocks which are sandy and loose. From the perspective of topographical conditions, the rocks at the elevated areas are hard and the ones at low-lying areas are loose. The soil constitutes the high amount of lime because of less porosity and high evaporation resulting from hot and dry climate. The content of water in the soil is only 10% and the soil color is mostly pale with few amount of humus. The major soil types found in three regions of dry zone are as follows:

Soil types Soil fertility Places where these soil types can be found Remark
Cinnamon Soil light redbrown colour,

high fertility,

pH value 6-7.5

Elevated areas,Mandalay and Shan bordering mountain branches, Bago Yoma branches in Mandalay and Magway regions and branches of Rakhine Yoma mountain ranges Indaing forests with a mixture of Dipterocarpus tuberculatus (In) and Dipterocarpus alatus (Kanyin)
Red Brown Savana soil Redbrown colour

sandy soil,

water holding capacity-3.2%-9.5% with high constitutes of lime

Occur in the most dry areas, some salty soils and uneven topographical areas. Predominent in Natogyi, Myingyan, Taungthar,Wundwin, Kyauk Padaung, Mahlaing, Meiktila, Yamethin,  and Pyawbwe in Mandalay Region, Monywa and Sagaing in Sagaing Region and Myothit, Yenanchaung, Natmauk in Magway Region The poorest soil where the poorest shrub with Acacia catechu (Shar), Terminalia oliveri (Than), Tactona hamiltoniana (Dahat) grow
Dark Compact Soil Black colour, bare of moisture and crack, good water holding capacity with 28.4% Found across the hydro-basins of Mu river such as Shwebo, Ye U, Khin U, Wetlet and hydro-basins of Zawgyi and Panlong rivers such as Kyaukse, Myitnge, Tada U and Yaw chaung Highly productive with good farming and Acacia leucophloea (Htanaung) and thorny bushes are also found
Alluvial Soil Pale colour,

High constituents of salt, low water holding capacity with 16%

Found across hydro-basins of the Ayeyarwady river, around islands and rivers, low-flatting regions, valleys and at the mouths of the rivers called “the disposal of sediments”. Different types of soil occurred sporadically by region can also be found. Kya-thaung-wa (Bambusa polymorpha), In (Dipterocarpus tuberculatus) and Ingyin (Shorea robusta) can be found

According to the records, 60% of the soil types of three Dry Zone regions are found to have balanced acidity and alkalinity (pH7-8.5) and 30% are strong alkali soils (more than pH8.5) while 10% are acidic soils (below pH-6).

Red brown Savanna Soils, the poorest soils which are sandy soils with high constituents of base and with only 3.2 to 9.5% of water holding capacity, are found to be dominant.

Other soil types found are light redbrown coloured Cinnamon soils with pH value 6-7.5, dark compact soils (water holding capacity-28.4%), sandstone soils, claystone soils, soil mixed with shale, volcanic soils, laterite soils, conglomerate, sandy loam, clay soils၊ , gravel soils, savanna soils, infertile soils, soiling stone (red gravel soils), compact soils and less fertile sandy soils (situating as strata of sand).

Figure 2: Soil Map of Central Zone of Myanmar