FAO Soil Classification System

Table
Soil classification system of the Food and Agriculture Organization
  soil group  abbrevi-

ation defining 

characteristics name

derivation percent

of Earth's

land area
See as table:

Soils defined by parent material
  Andosol AN volcanic ejects an do (Japanese: "dark soil") 0.88               
  Arenosol  AR sands arena (Latin: "sand") 7.17               
  Histosol HS organic matter histos (Greek: "tissue") 2.51               
  Vertisol  VR swelling clays vertere (Latin

"to turn") 2.67               
Soils defined by topography
  Fluvisol FL alluvial lowlands fluvius (Latin: "river") 2.79               
  Gleysol GL waterlogged 

lowlands gley (Russian: "mucky soil

mass") 5.74               
  Leptosol LP eroded uplands leptos (Greek: "thin") 13.19               
  Regosol RG climate-limited, 

thin soil rhegos (Greek: "blanket") 2.07               
Soils defined by climate, organisms, and time
  Calcisol CL calcium carbonate accumulation calix (Latin: "lime") 6.38               
  Gypsisol GY gypsum 

accumulation gypsum (Latin: "calcium sulfate") 0.72               
  Solonchak SC salt accumulation sol chak (Russian: "salty area") 2.55               
  Solonetz SN sodium 

accumulation sol etz (Russian: "strongly salty") 1.08               
  Durisol DU silica accumulation durum (Latin: "hard")     —
  Chernozem CH cold steppe environment chern zemlja (Russian: "black earth") 1.83               
  Umbrisol UM cool, wet steppe environment umbra (Latin: "shade") 0.80               
  Kastanozem KS warm, dry steppe environment castanea zemlja (Latin-Russian: "chestnut earth") 3.71               
  Phaeozem PH warm, wet steppe environment phaios zemlja (Greek-Russian: "dusky earth") 1.51               
  Acrisol AC seasonally dry 

humid tropics acer (Latin: "strong acid") 7.97               
  Alisol AL humid subtropical 

and warm 

temperate areas alumen (Latin: "aluminum") 0.80               
  Ferralsol FR extensively 

weathered; humid tropics ferrum alumen (Latin: "iron-

aluminum") 5.98               
  Lixisol LX driest humid 

tropics lixivia (Latin: "washing") 3.47               
  Nitisol NT extensive clay migration; tropics nitidus (Latin: "shiny") 1.59               
  Plinthosol PT fluctuating water 

table; plinthite plinthos (Greek: "brick") 0.48               
  Luvisol LV clay accumulation; distinct seasons luere (Latin: "to wash") 5.18               
  Planosol PL clayey horizon planus (Latin: "flat") 1.04               
. Podzol PZ accumulation of 

iron and aluminum oxides and humus pod zola (Russian: "under ash") 3.87               
  Albeluvisol AB cold temperate 

area; bleached 

horizon over 

clayey horizon albus (Latin: "white") 2.55               
  Cryosol CR alternate freezing 

and thawing; waterlogged 

during thaw; permafrost within 

1 metre (3 feet) of 

the land surface kryros (Greek: "cold")     —
  Anthrosol AT extensive human modification anthropos (Greek: "man")   0.004           
  Cambisol CM little soil 

formation; recent cambiare (Latin: "to change") 11.96               
See as table:

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

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