chapter  4
Soils and vegetation
Pages 23

Soils of the Middle East The study o f soils in general could be said to be in transition. Under the influence of Russian workers in the subject, earlier approaches tended to be based upon the concept of zonality - that is, geographical location in the broad sense - and therefore the prime influencing factor in the development of soils was held to be climate. Soils can be zonal, where drainage is good; intrazonal on valley floors or benches or flats, where drainage is impeded; or azonal, where there is immaturity or considerable erosion. This approach was followed at first by most workers, including Reifenberg, one of the first to study Middle East soils, who held, for example, that Terra Rossa soils could develop wholly independently of parent rock, irrespective of whether this were limestone or basalt, because of the predominant effects of climate.