The term shallow comes from soil science and geography, but is also used in some areas of agriculture , peatland cultivation and hydrology . In the case of the latter, it refers to the layers of shallow waters close to the ground . In agriculture, the word can mean shallow plowing in addition to shallow soil .
A soil is said to be shallow if it is only slightly thick, i.e. H. when the A horizon changes rapidly into the C horizon (adjacent rock). Such mostly barren, nutrient-poor soils can be found in the hilly and low mountain ranges predominantly on the hilltops - especially with calcareous rock - and on steep slopes , while deep soils predominate in the valleys and lowlands .
Predominantly shallow soil types are among others
- the Rendzina (carbonate or gypsum-rich subsoil)
- the pelosol or clay soil (instead of B- a P-horizon made of clay-rich weathering material)
- the Regosol (formed on low-lime loose material, especially on sand) and its preliminary stage, the Lockersyrosem
- the Ranker (on hard rock such as sandstone, granite or quartz), also on steep slopes
- the Leptosole (poorly developed soils over different rocks), extremely skeletal
- the Syrosem (Russian "raw earth"), "rubble soil" at the beginning of soil development on solid rock.
In contrast to this, particularly deep soils are, for example, the Chernosem (black earth ), the Kalktschernosem or the tropical Nitisol . They usually have a high fertility , except in the nutrient-poor soils such as Ferralsol .
While most of the shallow soils show only low fertility, it can be high in volcanic soils, even if they are not as thick. Many plants specialize in barren soils where there is no strong competitive pressure. Some fir forests grow on flat ground (e.g. limestone marl ), which, however, allows deeper rooting in crevices and cracks.