How Is Transported Soil Different From Residual Soil

The soil in the garden isn’t the same everywhere as there are a couple of distinct types you can find, which have a bearing on how good your garden could be for growing, building, or anything. Some soils have been in place forever, while others are transported by nature, the climate, and other natural factors.

So how can you differentiate between transported soil and residual soil? Chemical weathering produces residual soils, and the climate, source material, terrain, drainage, and soil age influence their characteristics.

Natural forces like wind, water, and more are used to transfer weathered soil deposits, often referred to as transported soil, from one place to another. In our guide, you can learn what is the difference between residual soil and transported soil.

transported soil

By the end, you’ll better understand the soil in your garden and if you find incredibly fertile soil. If so, there’s a reasonable probability you have residual soil, like regions in Africa, South Asia, Southeastern North America, South America, and other vital areas. (Learn How To Add Phosphorus To Soil)

What is Residual Soil

Without soil transportation of the base soil particles, residual soils result from the parent rock’s in-situ weathering.

Many regions of the world are home to residual soils, including:

  • Africa
  • South Asia
  • Australia
  • Central and South America
  • Southeastern North America

Among these, the key regions are those with humid tropical regions like Brazil, Nigeria, South India, Singapore, and the Philippines.

residual soil

Residual Soil Characteristics

Environmental factors like climate, parent materials, topography and drainage, and age all have a role in the characteristics of residual soils produced as byproducts of chemical weathering. Compared to other factors like climate, topography, and vegetation cover, the initial rock plays a minor effect on the diversity of residual soil.

Residual soils have the following essential characteristics:

  • The mineralogical composition of the soil closely mimics that of the original bedrock beneath it.
  • The soil grains are not rounded.
  • The residual soil contains original rock fragments.
  • The residual soil thickness is influenced by weathering, rock type, and climate.
  • A soil profile reveals that the original rock was gradually replaced by topsoil.

Examples of Residual Soil

Rock weathering of earth materials has produced residual soils, which are still in their original locations. For instance, the parent rock from which bentonite was formed is a chemically weathered volcanic ash. (Learn How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh)

Residual Soil Types

For the formation of residual soil, there are certain regions where the environmental factors and parent material are perfect. For example, well-drained regions in the tropics produce reddish lateritic soil.

Other poorly drained areas may favor expansive montmorillonite black clays. Andosols can develop over volcanic ash and rock regions. You can find allophane and metastable halloysite at these sites.

what is transported soil

What Is Transported Soil

Weathered soil deposits carried from one place by glaciers, the wind, or other natural forces are known as transported soil.

Soil transportation types:

  • Glacier-deposited soils.
  • Water-transported soils (including Marine Deposits and Lacustrine deposits)
  • Wind transported soils.
  • Gravity deposited soils.

Example of Transported Soil

Now that we’ve seen what distinguishes transported soil from residual soil, we must understand what constitutes transported soil by looking at examples of different soil transportation techniques.

1. Water-Deposited Soil Particles

Soil deposits are carried by water, and the water velocity affects the size of soil deposits carried by water. Rapidly flowing water can destroy mountains and deposit dirt in valleys. When fine particles are transported by water, such soil transportation results in soil deposits, called marine deposits, ending up in the ocean.

Many soils carried by high-speed water come from rolling or suspension. Coarser particles settle as velocity decreases. Finer soils are deposited at lower speeds—a delta forms when water velocity approaches zero. Alluvial soils are soils carried by water and end up called alluvial deposits. Near lake borders are where you find what is called Lacustrine deposits, or coarse particles.

2. Wind-Transported Soils

The term “aeolian deposits” refers to wind-transported soils where massive dunes are produced in desert regions. Here, wind speed affects the particle size of soils carried inland from the ocean. The wind or aeolian deposits transport another type of deposit. A variety of silt that is an aeolian soil—deposited by the wind—is loess.

Due to its low density and an excellent compressibility, aeolian soil cannot support any weight.

3. Glacier-Deposited Soils

Other types of soils deposited are soils transported by glaciers. Some soils are referred to as till, and the melting of glaciers produces these soils. Drifts are another feature produced by glaciers, either directly or indirectly.

4. Gravity-Deposited Soils

Using the gravitational force, some soils can be transported like gravity makes things fall a steep slope. The term “talus” refers to colluvial soil, soils transported by gravity. High-quality, coarse-grained soil particles and rock fragments necessary for engineering applications can be found in these gravity-transported soils. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Soil Mites)

How Does Transported Soil Differ From Residual Soil?

The transported soil moves away from the parent rock by external forces, which makes up the primary difference between transported soil and the residual soil. As a remnant of a formation known as residual soil, the soil is still present.

Residual soils have characteristics that are impacted by the parent rock when they are perched on top. It is known as transported soils in that weathered rocks have been transferred. These soils are extremely fertile because the soil mineral composition comes from various transported rocks.

The following describes the difference between residual soil and transported soil.

  • There is still present where it was generated a type of soil known as residual soil that sits with the parent material. The word “transported soil” refers to relocated.
  • Residual soil is not separated from its parent rock. Transported soil is shifted away from its parent rock.
  • Residual soil has a variety of grain particles. In the transported soil, weak grain particles are left out.

Dual Factor Transported Soils

Some soil transported can be done by multiple means, such as soil moved by the wind that, because of gravitational force, moves down a slope into the river where it moves again. Likely, residual soil and transported soil will eventually find themselves in the exact locations.

1. Water Transported Soil

Water-transported soil is transported as suspended particles. The larger particles move to a new location when water flows faster.

  • Alluvial soil is soil transported and deposited by rivers.
  • Lacustrine soil is soil carried in lakes.

2. Wind Transported Soil

Wind-transported soil finds fine-grained soils as silt and clay blow to arid regions. It is this that causes coarse sand in arid regions to form dunes.

3. Glacial Deposits

A large group of transported soil types contains glacial deposits. The glacial soil gets compacted from the glaciers transported soil, resulting in significant shear strength. Because of melting ice, glaciers move transported soil from one area to another.

4. Gravity Deposits

Another soil-moving technique is gravity, yet only over short distances. As you’d find in landslides, the soil transported this way is called the talus. Gravity soil is often called colluvial soil that comprises coarse particles as gravity deposits can’t move too far.


What is the difference between residual and transported soil?

1. Transported Soil

Weathered soil deposits are known as transported soil and are the soil that glaciers, wind, and other natural forces have moved. Based on their modes of movement, soils can be divided into three categories: wind-transported soils, water-deposited soils, and glacier-deposited soils.

2. Residual Soil

Residual soil is found in one spot after the weathering of the parent rock. For example, such soil can be found in Central and South America.

What Is Residual Soil?

Weathering of the bedrock below soil leads to the formation of residual soil. The texture and composition of the residual soil reveal the parent rock.

What Is Transported Soil?

Soil transported from its original site by gravity, wind, water, glaciers, or human activity – alone or in combination – is referred to as transported soils. How you find the transported soil has an impact on the characteristics of the final soil mass. Residual soils result from rock weathering, and residual soil remains in place with little or no movement of the individual soil particles.

The difference between residual soil and transported soil is that the former is made in one spot while the latter is called transported soil. (Learn How To Dry Out Soil Quickly)

What’s Different Between Transported Soil & Residual Soil?

Between residual and transported soils, you’ll find the key differences:

  • The transported soil sweeps or blows away from the parent rock.
  • When soil stays where it was generated, it is called residual soil.

Conclusion: Residual and Transported Soil

There are many different types, uses, and characteristics of transported and residual soil.

To get the best from the earth, it is essential to understand the differences in the soil. While transported soils also have some benefits, residual soils offer many more.

How Is Transported Soil Different From Residual Soil (2)

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