Soil Classification & Soil Series

The system of soil classification used in Peninsular Malaysia is based on the USDA Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff, 1999). Reference is also made to the FAO-UNESCO Legend. The hierarchical procedure of classifying soils in the USDA Soil Taxonomy which follows the following sequence: Order > Suborder > Great Group > Subgroup > Family > Soil Series, is used to establish names of individual soil.

Soil Series

The soil series is the basic soil-mapping unit used in Peninsular Malaysia. It is in the taxonomic sense, the smallest genetic group of soil in the classification system. Soil series are named after the place (e.g. town, estates, kampong etc.) where it was first described and classified, and no similarity in its set of properties with previous soil series in the record.

Soil series are differentiated mainly on the basis of significant variations in morphological, chemical and mineralogical properties of the soil. These properties include the kind, thickness and arrangement of horizons, and their structure, colour, texture (except texture of the surface horizon), reaction, consistency, content of carbonates and other salts, content of humus and mineralogical composition. A significant difference in any one of these properties in any one of the horizons may be the basis for recognizing a different series.