The degradation of organic matter within the soil produces a substance called humus, which has a complex chemical structure and is composed of carbon-rich compounds that impart the dark color. Yellow or red soil indicates the presence of oxidized ferric iron oxides. However, the presence of water also affects soil color by affecting the oxidation rate. The Munsell system provides a standardized reference for determining soil hue, intensity and darkness. The presence of spots or streaks of a particular colour, usually reddish, yellowish or white, which may exist in certain soil horizons is referred to as colour mottling.. Soil color can be a useful tool for evaluating a potential garden site. Desert soils come in a variety of colors. Soil color is produced by the minerals present and by the organic matter content. However, a bright red, yellow, or tan soil will work, as well. Soil color is produced by the minerals present and by the organic matter content. Wet soil will appear darker than dry soil. Color is strongly influenced by … Generally the darker a soil is, the "richer" it is considered to be. c. Yellow or red hues in the soil indicate the presence of iron or aluminum. Yellow or red soil indicates the presence of oxidized ferric iron oxides. Purple soil has a strong sulfur smell and results from sulfur bacteria that grow when a soil is waterlogged for a long period of time. Bright yellow and red colors indicate large amounts of organic matter. The first impression we have when looking at bare earth or soil is of color. Bright colors especially, catch our eye. Which brings up another interesting point, soil … 5.1 Colour mottling in soil horizons What is colour mottling and how do you describe it? If you have a healthy dark brown or black soil, great! Color and color patterns provide indications of mineral and organic content, as well as moisture levels, in soils. The Color of Soil. C. This type of soil typically occurs only in desert areas, as regular rains prevent calcium from accumulating. One of the more rarely seen and interesting is purple soil. There are a few other soil colors that are a lot less common. The presence of calcium carbonate apparently causes clay particles to clump together in a way that prevents them from being dispersed in water, thereby inhibiting the downward movement and accumulation of the clays into argillic horizons. Organisms and humus also affect and the size and shape of the clumps of particles, called “peds,” that make up the soil’s structure. The first impression we have when looking at bare earth or soil is of color. Most soil minerals are naturally white or light gray. Bright colors especially, catch our eye. b. A dark color indicates that the soil is poor in organic matter. Using This Information. Soil Colors. d. Yellow or red hues in the soil indicate the presence of calcium or magnesium. 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