Soil pH and Color
Country: United States
Date: January 2008
Does soil pH affect soil color?
Soil color is primarily affected by soil type and composition,
not so much pH. For instance, organic-rich soils (dark brown or
almost black, which can be moderate pH) tend to be darker than
organic-poor soils (light brown, lower pH), which in turn tend to be
darker than high mineral content soil (such as sand, higher pH).
It can certainly be true that soil color may be correlated with
pH at times, but only because certain soil types
tend to have a particular pH.
David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012