Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_53

In geomorphology, a depression in a landscape, into which water drains from the surrounding higher ground. If the basin has an outlet it is said to be an open basin, otherwise it is considered closed. The geological usage relates to a circumscribed tectonic structure filled with sedimentary strata all of which dip towards the center of the structure. In hot, humid climates, upslope soils tend to have a clay mineralogy dominated by 1:1 clays or gibbsite, with smectite-bearing soils common downslope in basins or other depressions (Birkeland, 1999, p. 241).


  1. Birkeland, P.W., 1999. Soils and Geomorphology, 3rd edn. New York: Oxford University Press, 430 pp.Google Scholar

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