Difference between saline soil and silty soil

For the uninitiated, the differences between different types of soils may only have to do with their color. Indeed, how many people know that there are five soil types? Someone who has dabbled with or has a career in geology knows, but a normal person mostly won’t. Saline and silty soils are the two most common soil types, and they are very different from each other.

saline soil

Saline soils are the most salty of all soil types. With such a high salt content in the soil, it cannot be absorbed by the roots of the plants. As long as there is saline soil, drought conditions can be seen.


Silt is a very smooth soil that leaves dirt on your skin when you soil it. It retains moisture for quite a while, and when wet, has a smooth, soapy feel.

difference in texture

There are significant differences in texture between saline and silty soils. When you rub the salted soil between your fingers, you will feel the gritty feeling. On the other hand, as mentioned above, silty soils have a smooth feel. It’s easy to understand – silty soil contains a lot of mud, which is why it has a muddy feel. Saline soil, on the other hand, has larger salt particles, which gives it a granular and sandy texture.

Brine and silty soils also vary in particle size. The particle size of silt is 0.002-0.05mm, and the particle size of saline soil is 0.05-2.0mm. This tells you that saline soils have larger particles, while silty soils have medium particle sizes.

Where are these soils found?

Silty soils can usually be found in estuarine areas. This means that wherever there is a river delta, you can find silty soil there. As the river flows, they keep collecting solids throughout their journey. Just before the river enters the sea, it is filled with banks on both sides. All the soil and minerals contained in it are deposited on the banks of the river. With continuous development year after year, a layer of fertile soil is formed.

Saline soils are usually found in arid regions. Arid southern regions such as China, Egypt, India and Pakistan have large areas of saline soil. If the former Soviet Union is considered, 2.4% of its entire landmass is covered by saline soil.

Plants that grow in saltwater and silty soils

Saline soil is not suitable for growing plants. The root cells of plants have membranes that block salt and allow water to pass through. Saline soils are so salty that it is difficult for the membrane to let water in. Therefore, relatively few varieties of trees and shrubs grow in saline soils. Some trees that can grow in saline soil are red horse chestnuts, white striped trees, common persimmons, sweet magnolias, and oak needles. Shrubs that can grow in saline soils include red chokeberry, red dogwood, hydrangea, Japanese holly, and coastal juniper.

Silt soil has good water retention capacity and is rich in nutrients. Therefore, many trees and shrubs are planted in this soil. Some common tree names include bald cypress, river birch, and weeping willow. Common shrubs found in silty soils include red choke berries, summer sweet and old American. Flowers like yellow iris and Japanese iris also grow in silty soil. Thanks to the techniques available to improve the drainage capacity of silty soils, it is also possible to create a beautiful vegetable garden in this type of soil.


Saline soil is rich in salt, while silty soil is rich in nutrients.

Saline soils have a granular and gritty feel, while silty soils have a soapy smooth feel.

The particle size of saline soil is larger than that of silty soil.

Saline soils are found in arid regions, while silty soils are found in delta regions.

Saline soil is not conducive to plant growth, while silty soil has high nutrients and is very beneficial to plant growth.

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