Volcanic Soils


Mauna Ulu Eruption, 1973
Volcanic Mauna Ulu Eruption, November 1973. Credit: Charles O'Rear. U.S. National Archives 412-DA-11690


Soils that have formed where there is a lot of activity from volcanos often have special chemical properties. They are often very rich in nutrients and hold water well because of their volcanic ash content. These soils are called Andisols, and they are often very young, and acidic depending on which type of volcano they come from.  Volcanic soils around the equator can be very well weathered, and can lose some of their nutrients unless theree is another eruption. These materials can be very dark in color.