From Russian pod, meaning below and zola, meaning ash. (Can also be spelled 'Podsol'.)

The most common type of soil found in the cold parts of the northen temperated climate zone. (Northen Europe, Northen Asia, Canada) This is the kind of soil present in pine forests. It has a pH value of between 4 and 6 and is low on nutrients.

It consists of the following layers:
The litter; about 3 centimeters thick.
Humus; about 5 centimeters thick.
The leaching layer; 5-10 centimeters thick.
The enrichment layer; 5-30 centimeters thick.
Mineral soil.

The first layer, the litter, consists of what you usually see in a forest; needles, branches and the like. (This layer can hardly be considered to be soil.) The humus consists of partially decomposed organic material, in other words, the stuff that used to be litter. You can still see what the things used to be though. The leaching layer is called so because the metallic ions (Na+, Ca2+, K+ Fe3+, Mg2+, NO3-, Al3+) in this layer are precipitated to the layer below. It consists of fully decomposed organic material. The lack of metallic ions in this layer is what gives it its characteristic grey-white (ash-white) colour. The enrichment layer is called so because its where all the metallic ions from the layer above ends up. It consists of some organic soil mixed with mineral soil. Since this layer contains lots of metallic ions it has a rust-brown colour. Furthest down is mineral soil and below that is bedrock.

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