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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Distribution of Soils

Distribution of Soils.

The nature of the underlying rocks has produced in various parts of the south of the island (which the immigrant first sees) gravelly soil, with a thin coating of vegetable mould.

Further north, along the eastern shore, where the rocks alter in character, rich loams are found, due to the decomposition of the limestone rocks in their neighbourhood. Good specimens in Cowichan valley and at Comox. These soils are always ready for cultivation.

The Northern Drift sands, gravels, and clays, are spread out over the whole undulating surface of the east coast. The sandy gravels form the soil generally, from which the forests spring, while the clay will be found chiefly in the open undulating grounds as a retentive subsoil with a thick top soil of vegetable mould. This latter clay-vegetable soil is a most valuable soil—colour, rich brownish-black. It fills up hollows and swampy bottoms, and forms the sides of gentle slopes. In some localities the clay forms the only soil.

The above clay-vegetable soil is mixed with alluvium in some localities, namely, deltas of rivers, near inlets and in valleys.

The alluvial deposits are not extensive, the streams being short watercourses. The brown earth, or "Humus," resulting from the decay of vegetable matter, is abundant, and mixes with the other soils in various proportions in different localities.