Characterization and Classification of Coastal Soils of Southern Cross River State, Nigeria
In soil studies, various approaches to defining the soil individual have been proposed and these approaches have been subjected to severe criticisms on the basis of the difficulty of its recognition and those of its variant. This study examines the characterization and classification of soils of Bakassi Local Government Area of Southern Cross River State, Nigeria in terms of morphological and physico-chemical characteristics. To achieve this, four transects, each 7.0km long, were established in the cardinal directions due to break in slope and creeks of the land terrain. Nine profiles comprising two in each direction and the starting point were selected along the transects. The profiles were dug and described according to the provision of Soil Survey Staff and FAO/UNESCO standards. Soil samples taken from the different horizons were stored in polyethylene bags and taken to the laboratory for analysis. The soil samples were air-dried, crushed and sieved through a 2mm sieve/mash. The results from the analysis revealed that the soils are predominantly 5Y and 10YR Hues and characterized by chroma values of less than 3 within the depth of 100cm. The soils are poorly drained for most of the sampling stations and are clearly dominated by mottles thus, gleization is the principal pedogenic process in the soil. The results further revealed that the soils were massive (structureless) situated in an environment characterized by paraquic/acquic moisture regimes in most part of the year. All the pedon underlying the terrain have high base saturation in addition to the evidence of clay accommodation in the subsurface and argillic horizon which qualify the soil alfisols. The argillic moisture soil regime further places the soils in the suborder, Aqualf. The pH condition of the soil were strongly acidic while the electrical conductivity values were (>4dSm-1) suggesting that such soils have salinity problem. The soils of the area were of „special class‟ of land capability classification requirements in terms of severe wetness, effective soil depth, textural class and high water holding capacity suitable for most arable crop production, particularly rice.