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Arenosols occur over large areas in Africa, central and western Australia, the Middle East and central China. Smaller areas are found along coastlines all over the world.


Soils with a loamy sand or coarser texture either to a depth of at least 100 cm from the soil surface, or to a (petro-)plinthic or salic horizon between 50 and 100 cm from the soil surface. They contain less than 35 percent (by volume) rock fragments or other coarse fragments within 100 cm from the soil surface and have no diagnostic horizons other than an ochric, yermic or albic horizon, a (petro-)plinthic or salic horizon below 50 cm from the soil surface, or an argic or spodic horizon below 200 cm below the soil surface.

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Deep white Arenosol, Surinam (Albic Arenosol)

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Deep red Arenosol in the Kalahari Desert, Namibia; the slight darkening in the surface horizon is due to accumulation of organic matter (Rubi-Aridic Arenosol; ISRIC reference soil NA 001)

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Arenosol under tundra vegetation, north Sweden; mini-Podzol development is visible in the first 10 cm of the soil, however, it is too thin to classify as Podzol

(Dystric Arenosol)

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Dune sand with strongly tilted stratification, China

(Proti-Aridic Arenosol (Eutric); ISRIC reference soil CN 015)